Huntley beats Boylan in season opener
Huntley's Anna Campanelli stole the ball near midcourt and coasted in for a layup with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter Wednesday to give the Red Raiders some much-needed breathing room against Boylan.
The Red Raiders sophomore was tough on the Titans all night.
Campanelli finished with a game-high seven steals and had 12 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, as Huntley pulled away for a 50-38 win in the season opener for both teams at the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament.
"We talked at half about trying to keep the ball out of [Boylan's] post's hands, so ball pressure was a big thing for us," said Campanelli, who added five rebounds. "We all work really hard in practice, and that helps each other get better.
"My teammates have helped me a lot. Playing against good players in practice helps me get better every day."
Campanelli, who already owns an NCAA Division I offer from Purdue Fort Wayne, earned starting minutes as a freshman and has continued to show improvements both offensively and defensively, Raiders coach Steve Raethz said.
"You saw glimpses of how good she can be, and I think her game really improved with the offseason," Raethz said. "She's so active on both ends of the floor. She's so versatile with how she's able to guard multiple positions, and she rebounds it so well.
"We expect some big things from her this year."
Senior guard Jessie Ozzauto, a Division I Lehigh commit, led the Raiders with 18 points, two 3s and eight rebounds. Senior Sammi Campanelli, Anna's sister, added nine points and six rebounds.
The Raiders, last year's Fox Valley Conference champion, got contributions from up and down their lineup. Mallory Winters, Cassidy Serpe and Ava McFadden each had three points, while Ashlyn Horton had six rebounds and three steals.
Raethz was pleased with his team's effort defensively, especially in the second half. The Raiders allowed only 12 points to the Titans over the final two quarters.
"I thought Anna Campanelli was great on their point guard in the second half and was very disruptive," Raethz said. "I thought our two posts, Ashlyn Horton and Mallory Winters, did a good job on their bigs.
"We just had some really good efforts from a lot of kids tonight."
The Titans were led by junior Alayna Petalber with a game-high 18 points and four 3s.
Lily Esparza added nine points and six rebounds in the loss.
Boylan coach Aaron Westlund said his team couldn't keep up with the defensive pressure of Huntley for all four quarters.
"They're a strong, physical team that gets up in your face, and I think it just wore us down," Westlund said. "They're all in-your-face, athletic and strong kids that are always in passing lanes. If we didn't come to the ball, those were easy steals and layups."
Ozzauto, who averaged just under 12 points a game as a junior, is looking forward to her senior season after Huntley won its second straight Class 4A regional title last season. Huntley's 23 wins were its most since 2016.
"Just spending time and taking it one day at a time with my girls," Ozzauto said. "I love them all. Just going one day at a time and hopefully using last season as motivation to go a little farther."
Anna Campanelli said this year is special because it will be her last playing on the same team with her older sister. Sammi Campanelli recently committed to Division II Lewis University.
"It's our last year," Anna Campanelli said. "It's really special to play with her and all of her friends that I have known since fifth grade. It's been fun to play with all of them."