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The Trees’ Championship Game

The team, the Trees on Sunday after the game (C. Vavrick).

This year, Huntley High School has become enamored with Recreation League Basketball. The Trees, Huntley High School’s rec league champion, lost their only regular season game to Sal’s Pizza, 64-47, in the final game of the regular season.

On Sunday, in the rec league championship, the Trees got their chance for redemption against the team from Jacobs High School, Sal’s Pizza, but could not hold onto their lead down the stretch, losing the game 53-57.

The Trees held a 29-23 lead at the half due to strong play from junior John Cazel and senior Trent Craig. Cazel had 8 points and 9 boards at the half, while Craig added another 7 points and 2 assists.

The Trees lead disappeared after a 7 point swing, in favor of Sal’s Pizza, at the beginning of the half. The game went back and forth until Sal’s pulled away in the final 5 minutes, on the back of Alec Baker’s 3-point shooting (5-7).

Derek Niedbalec led the way for the Trees defensively with his 4 steals and lockdown defense. As a team, the Trees held Sal’s Pizza to 15.5 points under their season average of 72.5 points per game.

“We were playing solid defense against Sals, but we couldn’t convert on the offensive side when we needed to,” said Niedbalec.

John Cazel had a monster performance on Sunday, scoring 18 points, on 8-13 shooting, and pulling down 19 boards. Trent Craig also added 11 points, Mike Grocholski added 10 points, and Derek Niedbalec added another 8, shooting 4-5 from the field.

In the end, the Trees were terrible from the three-point line (3-27) and coughed the ball up 9 times. While they weren’t able to secure a championship this year, the team is mostly juniors and will be back, for a championship run, next year.



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Charlie Vavrick, Author

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