Huntley gets past Dundee-Crown
Whatever Huntley girls basketball coach Steve Raethz had to say at halftime on Friday night the message clearly got through to his players.
After a lackluster first half the Red Raiders erased a 6-point deficit with a 9-0 run to start the third quarter on their way to a 58-45 win over Dundee-Crown in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division.
Senior Ali Andrews led the way with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Morgan Clausen added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Red Raiders (14-3, 4-0) trailed 24-18 at the half, but turned up the heat on defense in the second half, holding the Chargers to just 11 points on 4-of-25 (16 percent) shooting from the field while forcing 11 turnovers.
"I am really happy with the way we responded in the second half," Raethz said. "It all started on the defensive end. We talked about applying more pressure in the full court to speed up the tempo of the game. And I just thought the girls came out and played a lot tougher."
Andrews and Clausen accounted for all of Huntley's points in the first half, but ironically it wasn't until some other players started to contribute that the Red Raiders really started to click. Paige Renkosik had a pair of baskets in the 9-0 run to start the third quarter. Kayla Barreto also had a 3-pointer.
"We were much more efficient in the second half," Raethz said. "There was just too much standing around in the first half. But once we got everyone more active that's when the offense got going."
The Chargers (10-12, 1-3) did a nice job of keeping Andrews off the blocks in the post but the Red Raiders' all-time leading scorer still found a way to create scoring opportunities with two drives to the basket for layups, two step-back medium range jumpers, and two 3-pointers. She was also 8 of 10 from the free throw line.
Andrews' 3-pointer with 3:01 left in the third quarter broke a 29-29 tie and gave the Red Raiders the lead for good 32-29. She also had a basket and 2 free throws down the stretch as the Red Raiders put the game away with an 8-0 closing run.
"We just came out with a lot more energy in the second half," Andrews said. "They were doing a lot of doubling down on me and Morgan, so when everyone else started knocking down some shots it really opened some opportunities."
Dundee-Crown played tough defense limiting Huntley to just 16 of 55 (29 percent) shooting from the field. The Chargers also dominated the boards for 3 quarters with a 31-21 rebounding advantage, but struggled in the fourth quarter when Huntley had a 15-7 edge. The Chargers were also plagued by 25 turnovers in the game.
"I'm very proud of the way we played in the first half," Dundee-Crown coach Sarah Miller said. "But in the second half we played a little fearful and give credit to Huntley because they came out and got us on our heels."
Melissa Barker and Allison Michalski each had 14 points to lead the Chargers. Maddie Tripp had a team-high 12 rebounds.