CARPENTERSVILLE – Dundee-Crown had grown weary of the same old story, the one where it plays Huntley tight for most of a game, only to have the Red Raiders find ways to win at the end.
So the Chargers wrote a new ending.
Seniors Dylan Kissack and Brandon Rodriguez, who had been on the bitter losing end against Huntley more than any of their teammates, each hit a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter as D-C defeated the Raiders, 47-38, on Saturday night. D-C’s victory not only kept the Raiders from clinching the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division in boys basketball, but ended their 29-game division winning streak.
“We knew we were neck-and-neck with them, but they always made the bigger plays,” Rodriguez said. “We got the big rebounds tonight, made the big defensive plays. We all played our hearts out. It’s been a long run, we finally got them.”
After the handshake line, D-C’s fervent crowd rushed the floor to dance and sing with the players. Huntley (15-7 overall, 9-1 FVC Valley) had not lost a division game since Jacobs beat the Raiders, 49-46, on Jan. 14, 2011. D-C (17-5, 8-2) had not beaten Huntley since a 36-34 victory Feb. 12, 2010.
“[The streak] must have been something good to have somebody come out and celebrate when they didn’t really win anything,” Huntley coach Marty Manning said.
The Raiders had fought from behind the entire fourth quarter, but cut D-C’s lead to 36-34 with 3:15 remaining on T.J. Adams’ 3. Kissack then stuck a 3 from the left corner with 2:17 to go before Rodriguez came up big on both ends.
First, Rodriguez stole the ball from Bryce Only, then, as he trailed the play, he received the ball and nailed another 3 for a 42-34 lead. The Chargers’ fans sensed their team finally had done it.
“I kind of knew we needed a little answer there after they cut it to two,” said Kissack, who led D-C with 14 points and seven rebounds. “I caught it and was ready to shoot. It feels great to end it. Kudos to Huntley, they’re always a tough team to play against.”
Rodriguez added 12 points, with eight in the fourth quarter. He hit both his 3s in that quarter. J.T. Beasley added 11 points for the Chargers. D-C lost three times to Huntley last season by a combined 11 points.
“I don’t know the last time we beat them,” Chargers coach Lance Huber said. “We led every game we played them last year at halftime, but just couldn’t put them away.”
Manning looked at his team’s shot chart and immediately found the Raiders’ downfall.
“It was missed layups, period,” he said. “We missed 15 shots inside of 3 feet. Our defense was good enough, but we missed too many layups.”
Amanza Egekeze led Huntley with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Only and Tommy Regan added eight each.
“They’re a tough team. They played hard and physical,” Only said. “They hit their shots. Any time you think you’re about to put them away, they hit another big shot.”