It wasn't the trophy Huntley had in mind when it began play at the Elgin Holiday Tournament, but nevertheless the Red Raiders won the consolation championship on Saturday after downing Team Englewood 67-41.
After losing in the opening round on Monday, Huntley reeled off three straight wins.
"Our guys came out and fought the last three games and worked on some things we wanted to improve on," said Huntley coach Marty Manning. "We won the three games by an average of about 20 points so that's good."
Huntley (10-4) never trailed in the game and used its height advantage to stake itself to an early 8-0 lead. The closest Englewood got was within 3, 16-13, early in the second quarter, but the Red Raiders quickly retook an 8-point advantage after a pair of free throws from Zach Gorney (8 points, 7 rebounds) and a 3-point play from senior Amanze Egekeze before heading into the break up 36-25.
Egekeze finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Senior guard Kyle Slonka nailed back-to-back baskets early in the third, the second of which was a 3-pointer, to build Huntley's lead to 43-27.
Slonka finished with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
"We came in knowing we had a height advantage so once they started double- and triple-teaming it opened up opportunities for our guards," Slonka said. "After our first game we weren't too happy with the way we played so we wanted to emphasize the point to play much better and step up our game."
Huntley pushed its lead to 55-36 after three quarters and held Englewood to 5 points in the fourth. The Red Raiders forced 16 turnovers in the game, including 10 in the first half.
"We knew they were athletic and like to drive then dish on offense so we emphasized help defense and to take charges and slow down the offense on our half court to take away their athleticism," Slonka said.
Jack Bessey added 9 points for Huntley, while Ashten Hilliard scored a team-high 17 points for Englewood.
The Red Raiders shot 47 percent (23-for-49) from the field and hit 17 of 23 from the free-throw line, while holding Englewood to 35 percent (17-for-49) shooting and just five trips to the line.