The Huntley boys basketball team can call Jacobs its home away from home.
Playing in their seventh game of the season in the Golden Eagles' gym Tuesday night, Troy Miller hit six 3-pointers as the Red Raiders beat Elgin, 57-46, in the semifinals of the Class 4A Jacobs sectional.
"I like the rims on this court," said Miller, who went 6-for-8 from behind the arc. "It's comfortable here. I think the rims are loose. If you hit the rim, there's a better chance of going in."
Miller didn't need help from the rim. The junior hit five 3-pointers in the first half and then added 7 points in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 22 points.
"Every time we need a shot, he knocked it down," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "I'm glad he got back on (after a rough Prairie Ridge regional)."
The Red Raiders (25-4) have won 13 straight and will look for their second sectional championship Friday night against the winner of tonight's semifinal between South Elgin and Rockford Auburn. Huntley's first sectional title came in 2001.
Elgin's Jordan Dean scored on an off-balance shot 40 seconds into the game Tuesday to give the Maroons a 2-0 lead. Huntley scored the next 10 points, including Miller hitting a pair of 3-pointers, for a 10-2 lead. Elgin (22-6) answered by holding the Red Raiders scoreless for the final 5 minutes of the first quarter and took an 11-10 lead as Dean hit a 3-pointer with 1 second left in the quarter.
The game was tied 13-13 when Justin Frederick grabbed an offensive rebound, one of 12 offensive rebounds for the Red Raiders, and hit two free throws with 6:27 remaining in the first half as Huntley took a 15-13 lead. The Red Raiders didn't trail again.
"The key comes down to they were more physical," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "They got a lot of offensive rebounds. They got to a bunch of loose balls."
Huntley ended the first half on a 12-5 run to take a 25-18 lead.
Kory Brown scored the first two baskets of the second half as the Maroons got back within 3, 25-22. Huntley's Bryce Only converted an offensive rebound and Frederick hit a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 8, 30-22, with 5:35 left in the third quarter. Elgin wouldn't get closer than 6 the rest of the way.
"None of us really had our top games tonight," said Brown, who finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds. "Our defense kept us in the game, but we struggled to capitalize on that."
Huntley hit 14-of-17 free throws in the fourth quarter. Frederick finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Dylan Neukirch had 8 points. Only led the Red Raiders with 9 rebounds. Tyler Brunschon had 8 rebounds and Miller added 7 as Huntley outrebounded Elgin, 41-20.
"We knew they were going to try to be physical," Only said. "The JV guys got in our face in practice so when we got in the game we knew we faced this before."
Junior Dennis Moore led the Maroons with 13 points, 7 in the fourth quarter. Dean, the only senior in Elgin's rotation, added 10 points. Arie Williams had 9.