Huntley girls basketball triumphs over Hampshire to further conference status

By Brooke Hamann

Guard Ashley Guazzo’s leg slowly rose, bending conveniently accessible to her hand. Using her palm, she slowly rubbed the sole of her shoe with the sweat that lingered from the previous play. Those who made eye-contact wished they hadn’t as they were left staring into the muzzle of a pistol. Doing the same to the other shoe, she now had the steady base she’d hoped for. With 3 minutes remaining of the first quarter, she darted up the court. Seeing no sign of white, she maneuvered right, scoring an easy layup to bring her team on top. 

On Jan. 14, Huntley High School’s varsity girls basketball team faced off against Hampshire. With tensions high, the girls started off to a slow start in the first quarter. With only .2 seconds remaining, number two Nicole Flaherty stole possession of the ball and shot an easy layup, bringing her team still short of the lead with a score of 5-4 by the end of the quarter.

Building up confidence, the girls strutted their stuff in the 2nd quarter making many astounding recoveries while many fouls were doled out in their advantage. With 1:52 remaining, number 24 Kamsi Nwogu took a hard elbow to the side and was awarded a free throw, which she made look effortless. Even with .5 seconds left until the half, Nwogu performed a well-maneuvered pick and made a basket within milliseconds, bringing the Red Raiders on top before halftime. 

With the support and cheers that surrounded them, the girls returned to the court pumped and ready to deliver. With four free throws granted to her, freshman Carly Faulkner performed astoundingly under pressure making all but two of her awarded free throws. Supporting her cause, number 35 Raquel Radermacher didn’t hesitate to box-out and push her way through the opposing players to get the ball for the Raiders. With only 3:17 seconds left, Faulkner made a huge drive to the basket, leaving Raider Nation on their feet. By the end of the period, it was no surprise the girls kept the lead. 

With adrenaline pumping and blood coursing through their veins, the team was ready to pull out the win. With 5:13 seconds left to play, number 35, Radermacher, left the gymnasium speechless dropping a heavy 3-pointer to strengthen Huntley’s lead. Allowing her to do so was number 25 Anna Seng, who played outstanding defense throughout the course of the game. In the end, the Red Raiders stood triumphant over Hampshire with a final score of 33-27. 

“I just want to keep carrying that momentum heading into the second half of the conference this season. We’ve got 9 more conference games left and we want to be playing our best basketball down the stretch,” said head coach Steve Raethz. 

As a leader and a 3-year veteran, it’s important to senior Anna Seng that the girls continue to show support for one-another and grow closer through their love of the sport. 

“We just really gotta support each other during practice and just push each other to the best we can be,” said Seng. 

Come support the Huntley girls varsity basketball team at their next game where these winners never stop proving it!