With a severe height disadvantage, Huntley tried everything in the defensive playbook to stop 6-foot-9 Crystal Lake Central junior center Alex Timmerman.
None of the tactics worked for the Red Raiders.
Timmerman enjoyed a monster night with 23 points, 15 rebounds -- 9 on the offensive side -- and 4 blocked shots to lead the host Tigers to a 63-53 Fox Valley Conference boys basketball win in Crystal Lake Friday night.
"He is a very good player but we did a poor job of boxing him out on the offensive boards," said Huntley coach Will Benson. "They got too many second chance opportunities and that is very disappointing. With our biggest kids at 6-3, we need to box out. Not boxing out means a lack of fight on our part. We need to do better in that area."
A putback by Timmerman at the buzzer gave the Tigers (12-7, 6-3) a 32-30 lead into the halftime locker room.
Central took the momentum from Timmerman's putback to end the first half into the second half.
A 10-2 run spearheaded by 6 points from Timmerman and baskets from CJ Lerum and Deonta Dungey turned a 2-point advantage into a 42-32 lead with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Davis Pasco to beat the buzzer pulled the Red Raiders within 44-39 at the end of 24 minutes.
Huntley (5-16, 1-8) couldn't get any closer in the fourth quarter.
Two free throws by Will Welder and a driving layup by Timmerman gave the Tigers a 48-39 lead with 6:46 remaining.
Central's biggest lead was 61-46 after a 15-footer by Dungey with 1:58 left in the game.
"We talked at halftime about rebounding the basketball better in the second half," said Central coach Rich Czeslawski. "We did a much better job in the second half and were able to get some putbacks. Because of our rebounding we were able to get our transition game going and we got easy shots. In the first half, we were dealt with some adversity and I thought we did a good job of handling it. Alex had a another good game and he has been very consistent all season long."
Lerum backed Timmerman for the winners with 16 points including 2 treys and Dungey added 11 points.
Pat Roppolo, with three 3s, and Cory Knipp paced Huntley with 11 points apiece.
"We were running our offense in the first half and we were able to get some open 3s," said Benson. "We were stagnant in our offense and stopped moving and attacking in the second half. We didn't do a good job with our screens. I felt we played tired in the second half."