The Voice

The Voice

The Voice

Woodstock North defeats Huntley in FVC Division Crossover

Huntley basketball player fights off multiple players from Woodstock North (M. Krebs).

Polar opposites battled in the Fox Valley Conference Division Showdown on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Click here to view the HHS vs. WNHS   photo gallery

Huntley’s final game of the regular season pitted it against the Woodstock North Thunder in a matchup to determine each team’s final placing in the FVC standings. Both the Red Raiders and the Thunder came into Saturday night’s game with identical inter-conference records of 6-6. Huntley came in as a defense-oriented team while the Woodstock North has relied on its hot shooters from long range.

“We knew that they had some very solid three-point shooters and they had multiple shooters who could knock down threes from long range,” said Raiders head coach Steve Raethz. “I thought we did a decent job defensively in the first half.”

Huntley played against another team on its Senior Night and it was prepared early on. The Red Raiders came out strong going on a 14-6 run to end the quarter, with sophomore guard Sam Andrews scoring 10 of Huntley’s 15 first quarter points.

“She is really good,” said Thunder head coach Mike Lewis. “She got some good looks [that] she made in the first and second quarter but she just missed them in the third and fourth. I thought she’d go to the post a lot but here she is shooting three-pointers. She’s probably one of the best [players] we’ve played all year.”

The Thunder bounced back at the start of the second quarter with aggressive play on defense. While Woodstock North’s fast-paced offense tied the game up at 21 with 3:29 left on the clock, Huntley answered back. Senior guard Alex Weidner hit a pair of free throws with over a minute left. After some quick rebounding, Andrews hit a layup and senior Abbey Shaw drilled a buzzer-beating jump shot to give Huntley a six-point advantage going into the half.

“These kids stay calm all the time,” said Lewis, who tried to make sure his team collected itself going into the last 16 minutes of play. “That’s kind of my demeanor, and they don’t get too excited either way.”

The Thunder did stay calm, completely turning the game around in the third quarter. Although Huntley extended its lead to eight points midway through the third quarter, Woodstock North answered back with back-to-back three-pointers followed by the traditional three-point-play. This quarter, Woodstock North was the team to hit a buzzer-beater, with junior Emma Everly’s three-point-dagger giving her team a two-point lead.
“I thought we did a good job coming out defensively and making some adjustments in the first three minutes of the second half,” said Raethz, “but you have to play a full 32-minute game and a full 16 minutes in the second half, and that didn’t happen.”

The fourth quarter proved the most frustrating for the Red Raiders. The Thunder rallied around its offense, forcing many Huntley penalties (12 in the second half) which resulted in free points.

“I believe I have two of the best point guards in the area,” said Lewis. “Having them both on the floor at one time [while] holding the ball and making them come out and guard us where they had to foul us is very important. We’ve done that a lot lately, getting leads early and having them decide what they’re going to do.”

Huntley’s defensive prowess collapsed during that period of time, with Woodstock North attacking both inside and outside the three-point arc.
“The last 12 minutes of the second half went against everything that we wanted to try to do from a defensive standpoint,” said Raethz. “You can’t do two things against a team like this. You can’t allow dribble penetration and you can’t allow uncontested threes. We let that happen way too much in the second half and it got away from us.”

Huntley’s offense also struggled. Although Andrews finished with a game-high 19 points, Woodstock North contained her late in the game when Huntley began to fall behing.

“When that happens, there are other people that have to step up,” said Raethz. “I thought [that] in the second half we had some opportunities. We weren’t very assertive on the offensive end. There were way too many times that we held on to it and allowed ourselves to get double-teamed.”

Woodstock North’s 56-43 victory gave Huntley its third consecutive loss to end the season. However, Huntley looks to improve for Tuesday night’s Dekalb Regional game against its conference rival Jacobs.

“We’ve got to put this one behind us, and put it behind us in a hurry,” said Raethz. “With our regionals starting up, we have to days of prep time and we have to get ready for Jacobs. We have to look back and look at the things to do here to put ourselves in a position to be in a regional title game on Thursday.”


Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Marek Makowski, Author

Comments (0)

All The Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *