Huntley handles Jacobs to stay unbeaten
Huntley could not find its range from beyond the arc, but did enough other things well that it was not a factor against Jacobs.
The Red Raiders hit the boards hard and played solid defense, other than when super-quick Jacobs guard Isiah Jackson had the ball in his hands, and came away with a 56-43 Fox Valley Conference boys basketball victory Friday night.
"We crashed the boards well," said Huntley forward Adam Guazzo, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. "We moved the ball around a lot, played together and found a way to win."
Raiders coach Will Benson used the same phrase as his team moved to 6-0, 2-0 in the FVC.
"It's good we were able to find a way when we're not shooting great (on 3s)," Benson said. "In our league so far, it's been find a way. We shot well for one half (against Prairie Ridge) on Wednesday. PR and Jacobs guard well, so it's not just us missing shots, it's also the defense too."
Benson was pleased that Huntley's defense limited Jacobs' leading scorer Jackson Martucci to one point. What the Raiders did not expect was Jackson, who transferred from Huntley to Jacobs after his freshman year, to go off for 26 points and hit five 3s.
"The film we went over with coach (was key)," said guard Aiden Wieczorek, who led Huntley with 15 points. "We were pretty prepared for their sets. Isiah got going, but they have Jackson Martucci, who shoots a lot of 3s and he only got one point tonight. That was a big part of our defense and helping us really get going."
The Raiders never trailed in the game, jumping out early and enjoying a 19-9 halftime rebounding advantage. They finished with a 32-20 edge for the game.
Jackson had 11 points at halftime and kept the Golden Eagles (0-6, 0-2) in the game with four 3s in the second half.
Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said Jackson has been in the program, but had not played varsity basketball before. The Eagles are without Nick McCoy, their best player, who has a broken bone in his left hand, and without 6-foot-6 Grant Stec, their tallest player. Roberts hopes both will be back by January.
Jackson scored early with some speedy drives to the hoop, then heated up from the outside.
"This is Isiah's best game by far," Roberts said. "With Nick gone, Isiah is our only ballhandler and has to take on a lot of roles. He hasn't played varsity basketball at all before this year so it's been a major learning experience for him, and all our guys."
Jackson hit 10 of 17 shots and grabbed four rebounds.
"My teammates were giving me enough space to work with the ball and creating floor space," Jackson said. "They gave me the ball. My teammates and the bench were cheering me on. I just want to get some wins, more wins, team wins together, and see how far we can get."