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Under normal circumstances, committing 25 turnovers and giving up 12 3-pointers and 65 points wouldn't be a formula for success.
But Huntley's final game in Crystal Lake Central's seventh annual Coaches vs. Cancer Thanksgiving Tournament was hardly ordinary Saturday afternoon. Not against Belvidere North's frenetic style of looking to parlay gambling full-court pressure into as many shots as possible inside and outside the 3-point line.
And the Red Raiders survived the inevitable runs they were hit with as they pulled away to an 84-65 victory. All-tournament picks Amanze Egekeze and Zach Gorney each scored 19 points to lead five players in double figures.
"It was a lot different from how we play," Huntley freshman guard Jack Bessey said after scoring 11 points in his second varsity start. "We're mostly a half-court team and they're a full-court, shoot the first shot you get, so that's a lot different."
Belvidere North (2-2) came in averaging 85.7 points a game but made just 2 of its last 10 shots from behind the arc to finish at 12-for-35. Huntley (2-2) shot 53.8 percent from the field (28-for-52) as Riley Wicks (13 points), Blake Jacobs (10 points) and Egekeze combined to go 6-for-8 on 3s.
And the Red Raiders offset the turnovers with a 44-19 rebound advantage with 9 from Egekeze, 8 by Jacobs and 6 apiece by Gorney and Connor Boesch. Brad Spoeth had 6 assists and coach Marty Manning was happy with how Jacobs, Kyle Slonka (8 points), Bessey and Wicks handled the ball and forced Belvidere North to abandon its diamond-and-one pressure.
"Our JV team did a great job," Manning said of simulating Belvidere North's defense in a Saturday morning walk-through. "They got our guys so ready they did it for a quarter and a half and then they backed off.
"And we wanted to emphasize that they do a good job of going to the offensive boards, so we didn't want to let them shoot a 3 and get an offensive rebound and shoot another 3 and get an offensive rebound. Our guys did a good job."
Belvidere North needed less than two minutes in the second quarter to turn a 24-16 deficit into a 29-24 lead. Huntley also saw a 55-40 lead sliced to 64-58 with 7:05 to play but finally took control with a 19-5 tear.
"When it got to 20 in the fourth, that's when I started to breathe a little easier," Manning said with a smile.
"It was definitely back and forth," Bessey said. "It was a lot of fun. These are the games you like to play, fast games."