Huff's too tough as Grant gets past Antioch
One shot. The first shot.
That's all it takes for Michael Huff.
"It's usually how the first shot goes down," Grant's senior sharpshooter said. "Everyone can usually tell if I'm going to be on or off. If that first shot goes in, I'm feeling (good)."
Huff's first shot went in on Wednesday night against visiting Antioch. And many others did too, in fact. Huff went off for 13 first-quarter points en route to a game- and career-high 29 points in leading Grant to a breezy 76-52 Northern Lake County Conference victory over Antioch.
Grant, which placed last in its own highly competitive Thanksgiving tournament last month to start out 0-4, improves to 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the NLCC. Antioch was undefeated coming into the game and is now 4-1 overall, 1-1 in league play.
The long shot was falling early and often for Huff, who finished with five 3-pointers, 3 of which came in the first quarter alone.
"He just went off," Antioch coach Jim White said of Huff, the lone senior in Grant's starting lineup of four juniors. "You really can't be prepared for that. We had our (top) defender in Andrew Hare on him and we knew (Hare) was going to get blasted through screens and we knew he was going to have to fight through that and we were supposed to help off of that better and we weren't doing that. And you give Huff an inch, and he'll take it.
"Huff's release is such a quick flick and his shoulders are back so it's hard to contest it at all. He gets rid of that ball before a hand can even go up."
Huff, known for his laser 3-point shooting and lightning quick trigger, beat his old career high of 27 points from last year, but was a couple of threes shy of beating that personal best. He had seven 3-pointers in a game last year against Barrington and six 3-pointers last year in a game against Notre Dame.
"It helps when Huff goes off like he did. That was fantastic," Grant coach Wayne Bosworth said. "It really helped to get our offense clicking."
Grant scored its most points of the season and did so with unselfish play. Bosworth said that five players had at least four or more assists.
"We never even did that last year," Bosworth said in referencing last year's team that won 20 games and a regional title.
Junior guard Henry Kusiak was Grant's only other double-figure scorer. He had 10 points. But a total of nine Bulldogs scored.
Grant's offensive barrage was new for Antioch, which had built its 4-0 start on defense.
"Defensively, we had been playing well," White said. "We had been running 12 guys, getting a lot of guys time and with that pressure, we've been making teams get out of their stuff early and we've gotten some easy stuff on the other end.
"We weren't able to do that tonight."
Junior guard Dan Filippone had a team-high 18 points for Antioch while reserve guard Austin Andrews finished with 10 points on two 3-pointers.