Cary-Grove wins FVC showdown over Huntley
Huntley was fired up after 5-foot-9 Ryan Crosby tipped in a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter and pull the Red Raiders within four points of Cary-Grove.
The deficit had been 12 a couple of minutes earlier, so it certainly was something to get excited about.
C-G ended that mood right away when the fourth quarter started. Frank Jakubicek scored inside, then got a steal and another layup on the next possession. Beau Frericks nailed his fourth 3-pointer of the game, and just like that, the hot-shooting Trojans had nine straight points.
"That was mostly a composure thing," Jakubicek said. "We were still ahead, it's a close game, we kind of had to slow down and not let them push us. We were able to get some easy buckets, that's demoralizing for them a little bit."
C-G maintained a decent margin through the fourth quarter and defeated the Raiders, 63-53, Friday night in their Fox Valley Conference boys basketball game at Elroy Fitzgerald Gymnasium.
The Trojans shot well the entire game, finishing at 62.2% on field goals (23 of 37). C-G hit 5 of 6 field goals in the fourth quarter.
"We were due for one of those because, offensively, we've been struggling a little bit," Trojans coach Adam McCloud said. "We haven't scored 60 yet. We have not played up to our capabilities, but tonight we came out focused, and the kids wanted this game."
Jakubicek hit a 3-pointer 15 seconds into the game, and C-G (5-1, 2-0 FVC) led all the way. The 6-foot-8 senior forward, who is headed to NCAA Division I Belmont, scored 21 points, had 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Frericks, who is headed to D-II Lewis, hit four 3s and finished with a game-high 22. Ryan Weaver added 11 for the Trojans.
"We all have the skill and the want to do it," Trojans guard Clark Cunningham said. "We moved the ball well and communicated well and got good looks."
Huntley (4-1, 0-1) was coming off winning the Johnsburg/Richmond-Burton Thanksgiving Tournament last week. The Raiders were led by Ryan Sroka with 13 points and Uchenna Egekeze with 12. They both grabbed seven rebounds.
C-G led, 31-20, at halftime, and the Raiders were behind, 46-34, with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter. Ryan Vrugt and Ben Ahmer each hit a 3, then Crosby's tip-in cut the lead to 46-42.
"We talked about getting it to six or under by the end of the third," Raiders coach Will Benson said. "We got it to four, but we couldn't get over the hump. They executed better, and they made more shots than we did. I give them credit because they played better than we did tonight. We played hard, there were just a lot of big plays they finished around the rim and we didn't."
McCloud lauded the defense that Cunningham played on Sroka and Drew Szydlo played on Egekeze.
"They just dogged (their men) the whole night," McCloud said. "That's a lot to handle, those two kids are tough. I'm proud of the way we defended."
Cunningham, at 6-1, was giving up 4 inches to Sroka.
"I just wanted to stay in front, don't let him body up in the paint," Cunningham said. "I just squared up and if he went into me I'd try to take a charge."