BELVIDERE – The Class 4A Belvidere North Regional is full of good teams. Huntley knew that coming into Tuesday, a three seed with just six losses.
The Red Raiders passed their first postseason test against second-seeded DeKalb, not trailing after halftime in a 50-46 win. The Red Raiders move on to play top-seeded Belvidere North at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the regional final.
“We knew coming into this with how loaded this regional was and with the quality of teams that were there, DeKalb and Belvidere North, and [DeKalb] very well could have been a one-seed in this regional with the record they had and the season they had,” Huntley coach Steve Raethz said. “I’m so proud of our girls with the way they fought tonight and came out, and they really executed our game plan well on both ends of the floor.
"And they really exuded a lot of toughness tonight on both ends of the floor. And I thought when things got tight we didn't waver. And we made plays on the offensive end, and defensively we made plays as well when we needed them."
Huntley (22-6) freshman forward Ali Andrews finished with a game-high 19 points, and hit two big 3-pointers. Sam Andrews had 13 points for the Red Raiders, Bethany Zornow finished with 11 and Haley Ream had seven.
Ali Andrews even played some point guard in the first half.
"She did a great job with it," Raethz said. "Our players made some great in-game adjustments."
DeKalb (23-5) coach Chris Davenport gave credit to the Red Raiders play, and said that 46 points should be good enough to win with his group. Unfortunately for the Barbs, players like the Andrews sisters were just too much.
“It’s what we do. We grind it out and we play D,” Davenport said. “We didn’t play D tonight.”
Tuesday's victory against a DeKalb team was a big step for Huntley, but Raethz knows it's only step one.
"It was one game," he said. "The larger goal and the task at hand is to come up with a regional championship."