Minus Hodges, Schaumburg rallies past Huntley
Missing a top player did not slow Schaumburg's momentum in a 48-40 victory over Huntley in Wheaton Saturday.
The Saxons participated in Wheaton Warrenville South's Chron's and Colitis Awareness Shootout without Wisconsin-committed junior Chris Hodges. The 6-foot-8 forward saw a doctor Saturday due to flu-like symptoms but is expected back at practice Monday, coach Wade Heisler said. Short-handed, the Saxons improved to 6-0 by holding Huntley (4-2) to 13 second-half points. Schaumburg overcame a 3-point halftime deficit, in part, by grabbing 6 offensive rebounds in the second half.
"This is one of the wins I'm most proud of in all my career," said Heisler, Schaumburg's ninth-year coach. "I thought our kids showed so much toughness. I thought we really did it gritty. We talk about having fight and contesting everything. I could not be more proud of my boys right now."
Schaumburg senior Shamaree Brown scored a game-best 21 points, matching his career-high from Friday night's 54-39 win over Conant. The 6-foot-3 senior scored 6 third-quarter points. His spin move for a layup staked Schaumburg to a 36-34 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
"Since our Wisconsin commit is out, I just had to fill a role," said Brown, who pulled down 7 rebounds. "They tried to give me more touches than I usually get."
Huntley led 12-10 after a quarter and 27-24 at halftime, thanks to an aggressive effort on the boards. The Red Raiders grabbed 10 offensive rebounds in the first half. Twice they scored on the third shot of a possession.
Rebounding was a point of emphasis in the Schaumburg locker room at halftime. The Saxons outrebounded Huntley 13-12 in the second half to reverse a 17-8 first-half deficit.
"Coach always emphasizes that rebounding wins championships," Schaumburg senior forward Jared Schoo said. "In the second half we had a way better mentality. You could see it out there. Once we got the rebounds, we started to pull away a little bit."
Huntley kept it close. Ryan Sroka sank a long 3-pointer and Uchenna Egekeze followed with a steal and breakaway dunk that closed the gap to 43-40 with 1:40 left. Egekeze led Huntley with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Sroka finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds.
However, sophomore Vaurice Patterson got his own rebound after splitting the bonus and junior A.J. Prowell scored in the lane to make it a 6-point game.
The loss was the second in less than 18 hours for Huntley, which shot 5 of 20 from the field in the second half, 2 of 11 from 3-point range. The previously unbeaten Red Raiders lost 63-53 at Cary-Grove Friday.
"They were the more aggressive team in the second half," Huntley coach Will Benson said. "They got a ton of 50/50 balls. That part of it is on me. We're in a little bit of a funk here the last 15-18 hours with how we played. We have to go back to the foundation of what we had been. Boy, it went away in a hurry the last 18 hours."