Cary-Grove wins double OT classic over Huntley
Cary-Grove's Frank Jakubicek ended Huntley's final possession in regulation and the first overtime by swatting Huntley's last-second shot attempts away.
Then, in the second overtime, trailing by two, the Red Raiders could not get a shot off and wound up turning the ball over.
"That was just heart at that point," said Jakubicek, the Trojans' 6-foot-8 forward. "It's double-overtime and we're all gassed, they were gassed, it was just who wanted it more at that point. We were trying to dig deeper and get stops."
Those stops were the difference in a back-and-forth game between the Fox Valley Conference's two best teams, as C-G eked out a 49-46 victory over Huntley in the Class 4A McHenry sectional semifinal Tuesday.
C-G (31-3) advances to Friday's 7 p.m. championship against the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between St. Charles North (22-8) and Hononegah (12-19).
Over the last 9 minutes of the game, C-G allowed one basket.
"It's about kids competing," Trojans coach Adam McCloud said. "We have kids who believe in each other and they found a way. It's never easy with (Huntley). I'm just happy for our community. That was the most electric atmosphere I've ever been in as a coach."
Huntley (27-6) held the ball for the last minute of regulation, but Jakubicek blocked Ryan Sroka's 3-point attempt as time expired. The Raiders again held for a last shot in the first overtime, and this time Jakubicek blocked Uchenna Egekeze's shot, grabbed the ball, dribbled and lofted a shot from just past half-court that banked and hit the rim.
C-G's Beau Frericks opened the second overtime with a 3-point play, and the Trojans played with the lead the rest of the way. Huntley had the ball for most of the last 1:13, but C-G's defense was too tough.
"Our guys fought and fought," Raiders coach Will Benson said. "Beau and Frank are really good, but their half-court defense is really good, that's the most underrated part of their game. We had a couple chances to win and they played good defense. We couldn't capitalize."
Frericks came up with the last steal and was fouled with 4.2 seconds remaining and a 48-46 lead. With the area's leading free-throw shooter (88.9%) at the line, Trojans' fans began the celebration.
"That felt awesome," Frericks said. "I have to give all the credit to Mikey Clarke there. He was playing the best defense of his life there. He was the X-factor in this game. He got on the floor, he got stops. He freed me up to get that ball."
Frericks made the first shot and Huntley called timeout. Frericks missed the second and Egekeze rebounded and launched a potential tying shot from mid-court that was off.
"It was awesome," said Jakubicek, who scored 17 points, had 10 rebounds and two alley-oop dunks. "We had great fan support, Huntley had great fan support, it was very loud in the gym. This is what you dream of as a little kid. I'm glad I got to be a part of it."