It would have been easy to justify had the Huntley girls basketball players experienced a physical or emotional letdown against Dundee-Crown Saturday afternoon after winning by 5 points at second-place Prairie Ridge on Friday night, but the Red Raiders would have none of it.
Paced by Ali Andrews, Huntley scored 26-first quarter points and was never challenged again in a 61-35 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win. Their seventh straight victory gave the Red Raiders a 2-game lead in the loss column with 3 FVC Valley games remaining. Huntley is seeking its first Valley title and first conference championship of any kind since 2001.
"I was really pleased with our kids' effort for the whole game," Huntley coach Steve Raethz said. "I thought our girls played hard for the full 32 minutes and I loved the contributions that all our girls gave. That's something we talked about coming into this game because it's tough playing two conference games within 24 hours."
Huntley (19-3, 9-0) jumped to a 24-7 lead behind Andrews, who scored 19 points in the game's first 6:14.
"My teammates helped me get the ball and we pounded it down low," she said. "Because they are so much smaller than us we knew that would be an advantage."
The 6-foot-2 sophomore forward, who is closing in on 1,000 career points, scored in a variety of ways: on a putback, with 4 free throws, on a pair of entry feeds from her senior sister Sam Andrews, on assists from Jessica Brock and Bethany Zornow, on a jump shot from the free-throw line.
Ali Andrews capped her first-quarter outburst with a three-point play. She finished with 26 points and 9 rebounds against Dundee-Crown (6-17, 1-8), which tried in vain to limit her.
"We did our best to sag on the weak side and pressure the ball," D-C coach Sarah Miller said. "But all the credit to them. They came out ready to play and they have really talented players. They work hard, they play strong, they demand the ball and they do a good job inside and outside. They dictated the game and they did a good job doing it."
Huntley was ahead 40-15 at halftime and increased its lead to 55-27, courtesy of a 13-point third-quarter from Sam Andrews. She sank 4 of 8 shots from 3-point range in the game and finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds.
Huntley won the rebounding battle 39-29 and made 16 of 16 free throws. The Raiders shot 20 of 53 from the field (38 percent).
Dundee-Crown lost for the 10th time in 11 games, but the Chargers are hopeful that Saturday's result was an aberration against a good team since most of their games of late have been competitive.
"We've been close with a lot of teams," said D-C senior Emily Michalski, who led D-C with 14 points. "Now that we're playing the second round of conference games, I think the next 4 teams we play we have a chance to get them because we've been working hard."
Jesania Laboy finished with 6 points and Francesca Scarpelli and Allison Michalski each had 5 points for the Chargers.