The first boys basketball meeting between Huntley and Crystal Lake Central, on Dec. 14 at Central’s Fieldhouse, was missing a major ingredient that would have added luster.
Huntley’s 6-foot-7 forward Amanze Egekeze was not yet back from surgery for patellar tendinitis in his right knee. The Red Raiders fought hard, but Central won, 54-46, in the Fox Valley Conference crossover game.
Egekeze is back this time as Huntley (17-7) hosts Central (23-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in the FVC crossover placement game that is the unofficial conference championship. There are six other placement games scheduled for today.
Huntley has lost only twice in its past 15 games and won its third consecutive FVC Valley title. The Tigers shared the FVC Fox with Hampshire, but they play in the first-place game because they swept Hampshire.
Central had a difficult time last week at Grayslake Central (a 75-71 overtime loss) and Grayslake North (a 55-54 victory), but bounced back Tuesday with a 76-42 victory over Johnsburg.
“The kids are going to be excited about Friday now, and the postseason,” Tigers coach Rich Czeslawski said. “It was a good night.”
Something to play for: Richmond-Burton’s big comeback at Burlington Central two weeks ago fell short, 68-65, but the Rockets can win a share of the Big Northern Conference East Division championship by beating Burlington in today’s 7 p.m. game.
Burlington (10-1 BNC East) leads R-B (9-2) by a game, so an R-B win would produce co-champions. R-B started 1-12 and now has won nine of its past 11.
On the wall: McHenry will honor two of its best athletes from last year at today’s boys basketball game between the Warriors and Grayslake Central. Robert Tonyan, McHenry’s 2012 Male Athlete of the Year, and Emma Romme, the Warriors’ 2012 Female Athlete of the Year, will be added to McHenry’s Wall of Fame.
Tonyan plays quarterback at NCAA Division I Indiana State. He was the Northwest Herald Boys Basketball Player of the Year and is McHenry’s career leader in passing yardage.
Romme attends Illinois State, where she plays club tennis. She was All-FVC for two years in basketball and was McHenry’s MVP for four years in tennis.