ALGONQUIN – Huntley talked about one rather simple adjustment at halftime – making more shots.
The Red Raiders were satisfied with the shots they were finding against Jacobs’ 1-3-1 zone defense, but not with the 7 of 25 shooting.
Huntley hit 6 of 14 field goals in the second half, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter and held off Jacobs, 46-39, in their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball opener Friday night at the Eagles’ Nest.
“We struggled putting the ball in the basket in the first half,” said forward Jake Wagner, who led the Raiders with 13 points. “We came out more aggressive and just had to knock down shots.”
It was a key victory on the road for the defending FVC Valley champions, who are playing without injured starters Amanze Egekeze and Tommy Regan.
“We said to the guys, ‘You’re running the offense well, we just have to make shots,’ ” Huntley coach Marty Manning said. “I was really proud of our guys. It would have been easy to bury our heads and say, ‘Oh, no, not again.’ They were still aggressive and played good offensive basketball.”
The Raiders suffered through an abysmal offensive game in a 38-31 overtime loss to Carmel the previous Friday, but they were half-good this time around.
Guard T.J. Adams got Huntley (4-1) started in the second half with a 3-pointer to tie the score at 24-24. Blake Jacobs added another 3 30 seconds later and Wagner hit one less than 2 minutes later.
“It works the other way too, which was what it was like in the first half,” Manning said. “As soon as one goes in, then another guy’s goes in. It’s not only individual, but it works for the team.”
Jacobs sophomore guard Chrishawn Orange hit a free throw early in the fourth quarter to cut Huntley’s lead to 34-32, but the Raiders hit 9 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
“This gives us some momentum,” said Huntley forward Zach Gorney, who scored 10 points. “It’s a good win against a rival, that’s what we wanted. In the second half, we settled down and looked for layups and got some confidence and made more shots.”
Orange led Jacobs (0-4) with 16 points and hit three 3s. The Golden Eagles finished with 33.3 percent shooting from the field (17 of 51).
“This was our chance to sneak up on them [without Egekeze and Regan] and we didn’t take advantage,” Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle said. “It’s about our inability to make shots. And that’s starting to bother me.”
Huntley senior guard Bryce Only added eight points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and had four steals.