Threes were the way for Huntley to counter the crowd around Amanze Egekeze in Prairie Ridge's variety of zone defenses on Saturday night.
Senior Riley Wicks hit five 3-pointers and the Red Raiders went 11-for-19 behind the arc as they pulled away to a 59-47 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball victory in Huntley.
"Riley hit a lot of big 3s and everyone chipped in the first half," Egekeze said after the Red Raiders went 8-for-12 behind the arc en route to a 32-22 lead at intermission.
"We knew we'd get a lot of 3s tonight because teams play zone mostly to stop Amanze from getting the ball inside," Wicks said after going 5-for-8 on 3s en route to 17 points. "We practiced what they run in practice a lot and we knew where we could get good shots."
Blake Jacobs also hit two and Kyle Slonka, Zach Gorney (9 points), freshman Jack Bessey and Brad Spoeth contributed to the long-range assault by the Red Raiders (10-4, 3-0). And the 6-foot-8 Belmont-bound Egekeze was hardly silenced with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 assists for the three-time defending Valley champions.
"They got hot," PR coach Corky Card said of Huntley's 53.6 percent shooting from the field (22-for-41). "It's hard to shoot in a shooting drill as well as they shot tonight and they did."
But 5 missed shots and 3 turnovers by Huntley to start the second half fueled a 12-point run by PR (9-8, 1-3). Michael Bradshaw (20 points on 7-for-20 shooting, three 3s) hit a 10-foot runner over Egekeze for a 34-32 lead.
"We got some good looks but after they went ahead, we took it personally and got every loose ball," Wicks said.
Bessey's 3 in the midst of a 7-point run put the Red Raiders ahead to stay. Jacobs' 3 started a 13-2 tear which finally gave them some breathing room at 55-41 with 2:32 left.
Egekeze played a prominent role with a smooth low-post move for a short jump hook. Then he out-leaped everyone for a loose ball near midcourt, drove into the lane and made a slick no-look pass to set up Gorney for the first of three consecutive layups.
"You saw Amanze get a little bit frustrated ... and when he gets angry he gets that look on his face and wants to take over," said Huntley coach Marty Manning. "And Zach did a great job of being aggressive." Bessey and the 5-7 Slonka had 4 rebounds apiece as Huntley finished with a 25-12 advantage.
"One of the big things was loose balls, we won almost all of them and we were able to take them out of their zone," Egekeze said.
"I thought they just out-scrapped us," Card said. "Spurts come and go, but when it comes right down to it you've got to be even in loose balls and rebounding."