The Huntley boys basketball team anticipated a close game against Dekalb in a class 4A regional semifinal matchup.
Despite getting exactly what they expected, the Red Raiders (25-3) let a stout defensive effort power them past the Barbs (10-15) on Tuesday night.
Defense dominated much of the first half, with multiple Huntley turnovers and missed shots by Dekalb.
The Raider offense began to show some signs of the life in the second quarter, outscoring the Barbs 11-5 to take the lead, 18-15, going into the half.
Both teams appeared more physical following halftime, with multiple hard fouls committed by both teams. Huntley took advantage of some controversial calls, but could not pull away for most of the third quarter, leading 27-24 going into the final quarter.
Huntley eventually prevailed in a fourth quarter slugfest, which saw more physical play, evidenced by the bloodied nose of Huntley senior Justin Frederick. Following a steal by junior Bryce Only with 17 seconds remaining, Huntley ran out the clock, and won 40-37.
Huntley will play the winner of the Dundee-Crown and Larkin semifinal for the regional title on Friday night.