On to the sectional finals for Barrington
Huntley would have been thrilled with just an average shooting night from behind the 3-point arc against powerful Barrington.
Normally, the Red Raiders attempt 17 3s in a game and make five. Against Barrington, the No. 5 team in The Associated Press' latest Class 4A poll, they went 0 for 18.
The Fillies had no such problems, hitting from the outside all night as they defeated Huntley, 53-36, Tuesday in their Class 4A DeKalb Girls Basketball Sectional semifinal. Barrington (27-5) advances to meet South Elgin at 7 p.m. Thursday for the sectional championship.
"They're very active and very athletic," said Huntley coach Steve Raethz, referring to Barrington's 2-3 zone defense. "Throughout the entire game, we just didn't knock down shots. That's uncharacteristic of us. Part of that's we had a bad shooting night, but part of that's attributed to them too and how active and athletic their zone was forcing us into quicker shots."
Huntley finished with 24.5% field-goal shooting (13 of 53). The Fillies hit 43.9% and made 8 3s for the game. Forward Laura Mahlum hit 2 3s in the first quarter, including the game's first basket and the Fillies never trailed.
"We moved the ball and looked for the open shot and whoever has it gets it done," said Mahlum, who hit 4 3s and scored a game-high 19 points. "We're a team that passes the ball and looks for each other and tonight it just happened to be my night that I was shooting well."
Huntley's man-to-man defense slowed Barrington down and managed to keep it close. A key play occurred right before halftime when Huntley's Anna Campanelli had a 3 rim out and Barrington's Sophie Swanson, a junior Purdue commit, rebounded, dribbled just past half-court and stuck a 3 at the buzzer.
Instead of potentially being down 23-20 at halftime, Huntley (23-7) trailed, 26-17.
"Huntley's (man-to-man) defense was really tough and they did a really nice job of challenging some or the things we like to run," Fillies coach Babbi Barreiro said. "Our kids did a good job settling in and hit some shots at the right times. Overall I'm super-proud of the kids. Huntley is tough, they have a lot of nice athletes and we knew it was going to be a tough game."
Swanson and 6-foot-2 center Molly O'Riordan each scored 14 points apiece for the Fillies.
Barrington widened its margin to 36-21 in the third quarter, but Huntley fought back early in the fourth quarter behind forward Jori Heard, who scored her 17 points inside. The Raiders cut the lead to 43-34 with 4:50 remaining in the fourth, but could not get closer.
"Their defense was really good. We weren't on today," said Heard, who grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds. "But usually we've been really good about it. We tried to stay positive and keep putting shots up and hopefully they'll fall.
"We did really well (this season). I'm so proud of this team. We all worked our butts off and worked really hard to get to where we are."
Mahlum was pleased with the way the Fillies made things difficult for Huntley's offense.
"We were really up in their business and picking their pockets a lot, which they weren't normally used to," Mahlum said. "We practice really hard on picking pockets."