A 5-foot hook shot in the lane, a 15-footer from the right baseline and a resounding dunk.
That’s just a few of the many ways Huntley senior standout Amanze Egekeze scored his 24 points to lead the Red Raiders to their fourth straight Fox Valley Conference Valley Division
boys basketball championship with a grind-it-out 39-35 win over Jacobs in Algonquin Friday night.
“All four conference championships have been special, but because all the teams played their best against us this one feels good,” said Egekeze, a 4-year starter for the Red Raiders. “I have great teammates and this was a tough game to win. It never gets old to win the conference.”
Egekeze, who scored 16 in the second half and 10 in the third quarter, made 10-of-of 16 field goal attempts, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked 6 shots in leading the Red Raiders to the conference title.
“Amanze was absolutely outstanding,” said Huntley coach Marty Manning. “He is his own worst critic and he always trying to get better. We did a better job of getting him the ball in the second half.”
Jacobs coach Jim Roberts liked the way his team played defensively on Egekeze in the first half.
“In the first half, we fronted him and kept him on the perimeter 15 to 18 feet away from the basket,” said Roberts. “In the second half, we didn’t front him very well and he caught the ball too deep in the lane. We lost our defensive discipline in the second half.”
With Jacobs (13-14, 7-4) leading 15-12 at halftime, the Red Raiders (17-7, 9-2) started the second half on a 11-2 run.
Led by a 3-pointer from Zach Gorney and 4 inside baskets from Egekeze, Huntley turned a 3-point halftime deficit into a 6-point 23-17 advantage with 2:11 left in the third quarter.
The Red Raiders’ biggest lead was 7, 33-26, after a putback by Egekeze with 2:22 left in the game.
The Golden Eagles didn’t quit and got to within 2, 35-33, with 46 seconds left on a 10-footer by Cameron Krutwig.
Jacobs didn’t get any closer.
Gorney backed Egekeze with 9 points for Huntley, which had lost its last two conference games to Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge because of porous free throw shooting. Friday, the Raiders connected on 13-of-14 from the charity stripe for a robust 92 percent.
Cory Boeckh came off the Jacobs bench to bury 3 3-pointers for 9 points, while Krutwig (9 rebounds) and Chris Orange added 8 apiece for the Eagles.