Winning ugly is still winning, right?
Well, while that may be true, it wasn't an easy sell to Dundee-Crown girls basketball coach Sarah Miller Saturday afternoon.
Miller's Chargers took an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter but D-C didn't score a point in that eight-minute time frame and Huntley came all the way back to tie, despite having scored only 13 points in the first three quarters.
But then a 3-pointer from sophomore Payton Schmidt just 9 seconds into overtime ignited the Chargers and they hung on for a 30-27 Fox Valley Conference victory.
"We'll take the ugly ones I guess," said Miller, whose team moved to 5-2 on the season and 3-0 in the FVC with its fourth straight win.
"We knew (Huntley) would play us physical and tough and even though they didn't score a lot I'm extremely disappointed because I didn't feel like we played as a team defensively, and we pride ourselves in our defense."
Both teams struggled on the offensive end all day, combining to make just 19 of 79 field goal attempts (24 percent) and 16 of 41 free throw attempts (39 percent).
After 5-foot-11 Huntley freshman Kamsi Nwogu, who finished with a game-high 17 points and 9 rebounds, scored the game's first 4 points D-C, which was held scoreless for the first 5 minutes, 50 seconds of the game, went on a 19-4 run through the final 10-plus minutes of the first half to take a 19-8 lead into the break. Huntley went the final 6:37 of the first quarter without a point as well as the final 4:15 of the second quarter. Nwogu scored all 8 of the Red Raiders' points in the first half.
D-C was able to keep its 11-point advantage (24-13) going into the fourth quarter but that's when the Chargers lost their offense and Huntley (1-5, 0-2) found its.
While the Chargers were held scoreless in the fourth quarter and committed 8 turnovers, Huntley slowly crept back into the game, eventually tying it at 24-24 when Nwogu drove the lane and made a layup with 48 seconds to play in regulation.
Each team had two possessions in the final 48 seconds but turned the ball over on each possession.
On D-C's first possession in the overtime, Schmidt found herself alone in the left corner and buried a 3-pointer just 9 seconds into the extra session.
"At that moment my teammates helped me get open," Schmidt said. "They drove and kicked it out so I could have an open shot."
Senior Maddie Tripp (7 points) scored on an inbounds play to extend D-C's lead to 29-24 with 2:42 to play but Huntley freshman Raquel Radermacher nailed a 3 from the top of the circle with 1:09 left to make it a 29-27 game.
But the turnover bugaboo -- D-C had 21 for the game and Huntley 20 -- hit each team again. Senior Kennedy White made 1 of 2 free throws with 15 seconds left to make it 30-27 and Radermacher's 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left was off the mark.
"Payton hit the 3 and we found a way to get it done," Miller said.
Despite her disappointment with the overall effort, Miller was quick to praise the play of sophomore Katelyn Skibinski, who came off the bench to lead the Chargers in scoring with 9 points as well as having a stellar defensive game with 7 steals. She also grabbed 5 rebounds.
"Very pleased with Katelyn Skibinski today," Miller said. "Her defense was outstanding."
For Huntley it was a second tough loss in 24 hours. The Raiders dropped a 44-42 decision to Jacobs Friday night.
"I'm pleased with our effort the last two days but it's obviously not the outcome we wanted," said Huntley coach Steve Raethz, who at times had all freshmen and sophomores on the floor. "I'm pleased with the fight our kids had. They kept fighting and kept playing and I'm pleased with the way we responded in the second half and even when we went down five in the overtime, we cut it to two and then the ball just didn't bounce our way.
"They just have to stick with the process. They're getting experience they can lock away and use as the season progresses."