There was a time when Grant boys basketball coach Wayne Bosworth thought that guard Michael Huff could get a little more vertical on his jump shots.
Now, he's not about to touch Huff's shot with a 10-foot pole.
"We'll let that go," Bosworth said with a laugh Saturday night. "I don't want to touch his shot. Not when he's shooting like this."
"This" was an amazing display by Huff in a nonconference game against visiting Barrington.
Huff pretty much single-handedly dug a deep, dark hole for the Broncos by nailing 4-of-4 three-pointers in the first quarter alone.
Grant built a 14-point lead by the end of the quarter and went on to get a 67-56 victory. Huff poured in a game-high 25 points and finished with six 3s. He was 6-of-6 from 3-point range in the first half and 6-of-7 overall.
The Bulldogs, now 17-8, remain the hottest team in Lake County, having won 10 of their last 11 games.
"I always just practice hard and give it my all and I'm always working on my form. I'm always in the gym shooting," Huff said. "I'm always tweaking things, how I stand, lots of things with my shot. It's also the arc I put on the ball. There's a higher chance of it going in with the trajectory of my shot."
Huff has always been a scorer and sharpshooter, averaging 25 points per game each of the last two seasons on the Grant freshman and sophomore teams.
He wasn't a starter on the varsity this season until the holidays when Bosworth switched up the lineup at the Jacobs tournament and put Huff in. Huff has been on fire ever since, and is the team's best 3-point shooter. In fact, he's one of the best in Lake County.
"Nothing gets in his head," Bosworth said of Huff. "Pressure doesn't get in his head, game situations don't get in his head. It's like a cold-blooded type of thing. He'll just keep shooting. He can tend to be a little streaky in that way. Like he might miss four in a row in practice but then he'll go off for five or six in a row.
"He's got such a quick release, too. Not many people at the high school varsity level have a release as quick as his. That ball is out of his hands as soon as he gets it. If a guy doesn't have a hand on his chest, he's getting the shot up."
Barrington (15-10) ran at least four defenders at Huff. The Broncos face-guarded him and doubled him. Nothing worked in the first half, when Huff scored 22 of his points.
"He was making contested threes in the first half and I gave him some open looks as well," said Barrington forward Jason Boock, who spent a lot of time guarding Huff. "It's always frustrating when a kid hits a ton of threes like that. Even contested ones. I have to tip my hat to him for being able to make those."
Boock got hot from 3-point range himself, hitting four 3s in the second half to finish with a team-high 20 points. But it was a little too late to make a difference for Barrington.
Grant was up by as many as 22 points in third quarter and Barrington cut it to 10 points halfway through the fourth quarter, thanks in part to Boock's shooting. But Grant managed to keep Barrington at arm's length.
"That's a good team," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said of Grant. "And we didn't do a good enough job of taking (Huff) out of the equation when it became obvious how hot he was. And we could just never recover.
"We were trying to not even let (Huff) catch the basketball. We wanted to double if he did catch it. We were just a step slow. He kept getting catches and good looks. We just rotated different guys on him to see who could do the job and when we finally got him quieted down, it was just too big of a gap for us."
Grant also got double-figures from reserve Kyle Dupree, who came off the bench for 15 points. Meanwhile, center John Kerr added 12 points.
In addition to Boock, two other players scored in double-figures for Barrington. Guard Anthony Spann and 6-foot-7 center Jackson Perkins both finished with 12 points.