Two rough patches cost the Huntley boys basketball team in a 65-54 loss to Bogan at the Mac Irvin Diabetes Classic at Larkin Saturday afternoon.
Huntley (2-3) took a 22-19 lead when Zach Gorney split his free throws with 5:45 left in the second quarter, but the Bengals (4-1) closed the half on a 17-2 run to take a 12-point halftime lead.
"We went 1 for 7 from the field and 1 for 6 from the free-throw line during that stretch and that really hurt us," Huntley coach Marty Manning said.
The Red Raiders fought back into contention with a 14-2 third-quarter spree, fueled by 5 points from senior point guard Kyle Slonka, and a three-point play by 6-foot-8 senior Amanze Egekeze. Senior guard Blake Jacobs' 3-pointer drew the Raiders within 44-41 with 1:44 left in the third quarter.
Then came another rough patch.
Bogan dominated the next few minutes, restoring its lead to double digits. The Bengals used a pair of buckets and a free throw from 6-7 junior Antonio Thomas and a basket and a free throw from 6-6 junior Antoine Boyd to take a 51-41 lead.
"It just came down to a couple of pockets at the end of the third quarter and at the the end of the second quarter," said 6-8 Belmont-bound senior Amanze Egekeze, who led Huntley with 14 points and 8 rebounds. "We were right there. We had made our run and were answering them on offense for the most part. We just had a couple of turnovers and a couple of letdowns defensively. We let them get a couple of buckets and they made a run. That's what opened the game up. We lost a lot of momentum in those two stretches."
Huntley never again drew closer than 8 points of the lead. Manning said turnovers weren't the issue as his team committed just 14, a resepectable total against Bogan's unrelenting full-court pressure. He pointed to an intangible difference.
"It was a lack of toughness on toughness plays," Manning said. "What I mean is there were a bunch of loose balls where they may have fouled us but it wasn't called. And we didn't fight back. We didn't compete to get the ball back. There were a whole bunch of offensive rebounds they had that we might have had a hand on that we didn't compete tough enough to get. We have to ratchet up our level of toughness. I thought we did a decent job of taking care of the basketball, but there were certain possessions where we really didn't compete at a high enough level to beat this team."
Junior guard Luwane Pipkins led Bogan with 23 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Thomas finished with 16 points, followed by Boyd (9) and 6-4 sophomore James Jones (8 points, 5 rebounds).
Wicks scored 12 points and grabbed 4 rebounds for Huntley, Slonka finished with 9 points and Gorney had 8.