Huntley's hot start fades against Crystal Lake Central
Huntley came out hot early, but unfortunately for the Red Raiders, they cooled off in the second half and lost 78-65 to Fox Valley Conference rival Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday.
In the end, the Red Raiders just couldn't find an answer to Adam Timmerman's offense and rebounds.
Huntley junior Ryan Sroka said the team is going through a rough patch right now, but they know what they need to do to get back in the win column.
"We've been on a little bit of a losing streak lately and we just have to fight through that," Sroka said. "We've struggled defensively lately and it showed tonight. Their second chance points really hurt us tonight. We miss a shot, then Timmerman gets a rebound and gets two points, that's deflating. We're not a very big team, but we just have to be more physical with him."
Huntley coach Will Benson had a plan for his team, but Timmerman proved to be up for the challenge.
"We knew we had to keep them off the offensive glass, but we didn't do that very well tonight," Benson said. "Timmerman is tough; their guards crash the boards, so when they get second and third shots it's hard to beat them. We were trying to limit them to half court possessions and one shot."
Huntley (11-11, 5-5) finished the first quarter with a 24-17 lead with half of their points coming from 3-point range. But Crystal Lake (12-7, 8-2) ratcheted up the defensive pressure with a full court press that forced the Red Raiders into some early turnovers leading to an 11-1 run to start the second quarter. The Tigers closed out the first half with a 39-37 lead.
Crystal Lake Central coach Rich Czeslawski thought the run early in the second quarter jump-started his team and they were able to keep the pressure intense the entire game.
"I think what got us started was starting the second quarter with four or five stops in a row," Czeslawski said. "That kind of got us started and but they kept chipping away at our lead. They're a very good team. They're athletic, skilled, and play good defense, and we just got a roll on them for a bit."
Timmerman and the Tigers' defense proved to be too much in the end for the Red Raiders, as they were outscored 39-25 in the second half.
Benson realizes it's frustrating, but feels what ails his team can be fixed as the Red Raiders head into the second half of their schedule.
"Lately, we haven't had a ton of practices, but we've had a lot of games," Benson said. "And lately when we shot it well, we figured we don't have to dig in too much defensively because our offense will keep us in the games, and that's the wrong way to think."