Before long, coaches and players -- and sports writers, for that matter -- are going to grow out of putting the same theme on every game.
But until that happens, the emphasis on basketball officials enforcing the "hands off" crackdown is dictating the first week of the girls' season.
It did again on Friday, but Huntley was able to adjust and withstand first-half foul trouble, and St. Viator suffered through a horrific shooting night as the Red Raiders moved to 3-0 on the season with a 60-48 win at the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament in Carpentersville.
In the process, Huntley senior Sam Andrews eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career. She becomes the third Huntley girl to score more than 1,000 points, following Sam Mader and Meghan Staley-Gamble.
Andrews had 23 points in the win on 8 of 16 shooting. The Truman State recruit also had 9 rebounds and scored 16 of her points in the second half as her team opened up as much as a 20-point lead before St. Viator scored the final 8 points of the game.
"Sam Mader and Meghan Staley-Gamble were four-year (varsity) players," said Huntley coach Steve Raethz. "Sam has done this in two years and two games. It's quite an amazing accomplishment."
Sam Andrews and her sophomore sister Ali, who had 19 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, took over the game in the second half, combining for 29 points after sharing bench time in the first half when they each picked up early fouls. In fact, at one point Huntley had four starters on the bench in first-quarter foul trouble as the officials called the game so tight it forced Raethz to call off the press and drop into a 2-3 zone defense.
"Every game is going to be different with the adjustments you have to make and you're going to be going deep into your bench," Raethz said. "I thought we did a nice job defensively in the second half and had better communication. We got our transition game going and got some easy buckets and we got into a better flow. Sam and Ali worked well together with the high-low game.,"
"We just had to overcome the refs, not worry about it and play our game." said Sam Andrews, who now has 1,007 career points. "Our second-half defense was a lot better. We came out and knew what we had to do and we gave it our best effort and got the job done."
In the first half, Huntley's bench players held their own against the Lions (1-1) as the Red Raiders held a 21-12 lead at halftime, which was also due largely in part to St. Viator shooting just 4-for-29. The Lions finished the game 18 of 63 (28.5 percent).
"The lid was on the hoop for us tonight," said St. Viator coach Christina Jost. "They had four starters out and we didn't take advantage of it. We missed too many layups and too many free throws (3-for-11 first half, 7-for-18 for the game). Huntley is very good but we beat ourselves tonight."
Huntley got a lift from several players off the bench as Raethz substituted freely with the Andrews sisters, point guard Kayla Barreto and forward Bethany Zornow all spending time on the bench in the first half.
Senor Rachel Zobott scored 9 points and had 5 rebounds, while freshman Morgan Clausen, sophomore Paige Renkosik and juniors Kelli Rubino, Margartet Miller and Megan Larson all gave Raethz valuable minutes.
"It's a huge key for our bench to step up," Raethz said. "Rachel Zobott did a nice job tonight with a couple buckets, and defensively. The bench has to make the most of those opportunities."
Senior Erin Fabbri kept the Lions within striking distance early in the third quarter by nailing 3 3-pointers. She finished with a team-high 18 points. Junior Jessica Hohlweg added 8 points and 8 rebounds and junior Maddie McAteer had 11 rebounds as St. Viator outrebounded Huntley 44-43.