Phenomonal defense and a strong performance by the bench in the second half helped the Huntley boys basketball team crush division rival Prairie Ridge on Saturday night.
The Red Raiders (13-1 overall, 3-0 FVC) were led by senior point guard Troy Miller and sophomore center Amanze Egekeze with 16 and 15 points repectively. The Wolves (4-12, 0-3) had 10 points by senior Sean Valentine, but trailed the entire game en route to a 29-63 loss.
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Huntley got off to a slow start offensively in the first quarter, but a three pointer from Miller, a dunk by Egekeze, and strong defense helped Huntley jump out to a 12-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw more of the same, with Huntley leading 26-16 going into the half behind two 3 pointers by senior Jake Brock in the period.
After some adjustments at the half, however, Miller exploded in the opening minutes of the third quarter, scoring 6 points in the first three minutes of a 18-2 Huntley run. Miller appeared shaken up after being fouled hard on a layup attempt near the end of the quarter, but stayed in to successfully shoot both free throws before leaving for the bench. Huntley allowed only 4 points, Egekeze scored 10, and Huntley led 46-20 going into the fourth.
Assistant coach Ryan Sternes, filling in for head coach Martin Manning, rested the starters in the fourth quarter by playing the third string team, including fan-favorite, senior Mason Wicks. Wicks scored a career-high 7 points in the quarter, and the bench players crushed Praire Ridge’s starters to earn a Huntley victory, 63-29.
“It felt pretty cool to score 7 points in those four or five minutes the JV team got to play,” said Wicks. “It’s really fun to play in front of raider nation, and their support for JV is awesome. I think our depth is also one of our best assets in practice because we need to push the starters to get better.”
Players were happy with the game, after two sloppy wins against Mchenry and Crystal Lake South in the past week.
“Tonight our defense looked phenomenal except for a few mental lapses,” said senior Ryan Lussow. “Our offense was a little rough during the first half but during halftime we figured out how to get going and create more offensive opportunities for scorers.”
Huntley will face rival Jacobs at home on Wednesday, before the High School Hoops Showdown against Elgin at the Sears Center on Saturday.
Head coach Martin Manning was absent due to the birth of his second child, a baby boy.
Huntley High School was featured on Comcast SportsNet Friday Evening as the “Muscle Milk Team of the Week.” CSN rated them #13 in the state. Here is the video:
Photos from Friday’s game:
- VIDEO: CSN’s “Muscle Milk Team of the Week,” Huntley, beats PR (huntleyvoice.com)
- Boys basketball picks up first win of the year (huntleyvoice.com)