Huntley edges Crystal Lake South in OT

  • Crystal Lake South's Cooper LePage, left, and Huntley's Nathan Ary tussle for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Cooper LePage, left, and Huntley's Nathan Ary tussle for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Cooper LePage, left, and Huntley's Nathan Ary tussle for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Cooper LePage, left, and Huntley's Nathan Ary tussle for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Nate Stewart, right, battles Huntley's Nathan Ary for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Nate Stewart, right, battles Huntley's Nathan Ary for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Cooper LePage, left, and Huntley's Aiden Wieczorek reach for a rebound during the Red Raiders' 48-46 win in overtime at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Cooper LePage, left, and Huntley's Aiden Wieczorek reach for a rebound during the Red Raiders' 48-46 win in overtime at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Huntley's Adam Guazzo, front, lunges after the ball as Crystal Lake South's Cameron Miller defends during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Huntley's Adam Guazzo, front, lunges after the ball as Crystal Lake South's Cameron Miller defends during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Huntley's Red Raiders get excited as they take a fourth-quarter lead over Crystal Lake South during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Huntley's Red Raiders get excited as they take a fourth-quarter lead over Crystal Lake South during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Brady Schroeder, left, battles Huntley's Ian Ravagnie for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Brady Schroeder, left, battles Huntley's Ian Ravagnie for the ball during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Zach Peltz, left, looks to get past Huntley's Adam Guazzo during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Zach Peltz, left, looks to get past Huntley's Adam Guazzo during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Crystal Lake South's Gators react as the fourth quarter winds down during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Crystal Lake South's Gators react as the fourth quarter winds down during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

  • Huntley's John Kramer goes to the hoop past Crystal Lake South's Cameron Miller during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night.

    Huntley's John Kramer goes to the hoop past Crystal Lake South's Cameron Miller during varsity boys basketball at Huntley Friday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local

 
 
Updated 2/4/2022 10:51 PM

Huntley experienced one of its most frustrating offensive nights of the season, partly due to Crystal Lake South's tough defense and partly because Ben Ahmer and Aiden Wieczorek, its best shooters, had no 3-pointers between them through the first three quarters.

Finally, Ahmer got one to fall. Then another, followed by Wieczorek's first 3.

 

The Red Raiders, who played from behind most of the game, went ahead with 1:00 remaining in regulation. South's Cooper LePage drove the length the court and scored at the buzzer to force overtime, but the Raiders held the lead throughout the extra period for a 48-46 Fox Valley Conference victory Friday night.

"I knew we were going to (hit shots)," Wieczorek said. "The shots were going to fall eventually. We just have to play defense the way we did. The shots were going to fall."

Ahmer missed his first eight shots; Wieczorek missed his first 10. Ahmer had 73 3s going into the game, while Wieczorek had 42.

"It was 100% frustrating," Ahmer said. "One of those nights I was just off. I feel like we just had to see it go in. Once I saw the ball go in it felt great, but it took a while."

Huntley (23-4, 12-2 FVC) was behind South (14-12, 8-6) by nine early in the fourth quarter. Ahmer hit his first 3 at 5:50 to go. His second came with 2:39, cutting the Gators' lead to 33-32.

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Wieczorek then hit a 3 with 1:00 left for a 35-33 lead. LePage, who led all players with 18 points, grabbed the rebound on a missed free throw with 10 seconds to go in regulation and drove for a layup at the other end to tie.

Wieczorek hit a 3 to end a 45-second possession to start overtime and the Raiders led the rest of the way.

"The guts to find a way to get it done again was a credit to the kids," Raiders coach Will Benson said. "Ben played better defense. He had struggled shooting for a couple games. It was nice to see one go in.

"He was taking good shots, they just weren't falling. Our defense was pretty solid and our rebounding and toughness carried us through most of the game when we weren't making anything."

Adam Guazzo made two free throws for Huntley with 17 seconds left for a 48-43 lead. Arnav Jain, who finished with 15 points, hit a 3 with 5 seconds remaining, but South had no timeouts left.

"We defended as well as we have all year," Gators coach Matt LePage said. "To play that well against a team like that is a credit to our guys. We played our tails off.

"It was a combination of us guarding real well and them missing some shots early. The law of averages they're going to make some shots there. We had a nice lead and let it slip away. Then we answered to get into overtime. It was a great basketball game, one that you don't like to lose though."

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