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Inside Boys Basketball: Huntley's Amanze Egekeze Athlete of the Week

Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 5:16 p.m. CDT

Athlete of the Week

Amanze Egekeze

Huntley, sr.

Egekeze, a 6-foot-8 forward who signed with NCAA Division I Belmont, scored 19 points Saturday night as the Red Raiders defeated perennial power Boylan, 57-55, in Rockford.

Egekeze hit a shot from inside the lane with three seconds remaining for the game-winner. He also scored 15 points Tuesday as the Raiders defeated Crystal Lake Central, 73-24.

A four-year varsity player, Egekeze missed half of last season after undergoing surgery on his right knee for patellar tendinitis. He is back at full speed for his senior season.

Noteworthy

Tournament time: Most holiday tournaments start Saturday or Monday for local teams. There are a few changes in places where teams are playing, most notably with Huntley moving from The State Farm Classic in Bloomington to the Elgin Holiday Tournament.

Other switches have Richmond-Burton going to Marengo’s E.C. Nichols Tournament and McHenry going to York, a tournament that doesn’t start until Dec. 26. Those two teams previously played at Grant, which no longer has a Christmas tournament.

R-B joins the Marengo field along with three other new teams as the tournament expands to 12 teams. There will be three pools, with each pool winner and one wild-card team advancing to the championship pool. Marengo, Harvard, Woodstock and Woodstock North are the other local teams there.

Jacobs’ additions: Much of the attention locally will be at Jacobs, where seven local teams will compete, and at Marengo, where there are five area schools.

Two additions to Jacobs – Larkin (7-1) and Carmel (6-1) – will make that tournament tougher.

Another change at Jacobs comes with the tournament’s name. It now is called the Hinkle Holiday Classic in honor of Jim Hinkle, who retired as Jacobs' coach last season at the age of 71.

Much respect: Prairie Ridge coach Corky Card was pleased with his team’s performance in Friday’s 72-53 victory at Crystal Lake Central, although one thing bothered him, Tigers junior guard Cavanagh Murphy.

Murphy (6-1) is the lone Tiger returning who had a lot of varsity minutes last season. Central is off to an 0-8 start, but Murphy still has been tough for opponents to stop. Murphy scored 11 points against Prairie Ridge, with nine coming in the second quarter.

“Murphy was a handful,” Card said. “He goes in a straight line, and he was all kinds of trouble. I would have liked to handle him a little better.”

And he’s honest: Murphy also displayed great sportsmanship in the second quarter when a foul was called and mistakenly given to a teammate. He approached the official and said it should have been on him, and the official changed his call, giving Murphy the foul.

This week’s top games

Jacobs at Prairie Ridge

7 p.m. Tuesday

Prairie Ridge (5-2) looks like a team that can contend in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division, while Jacobs (1-3) lost to some tough competition in the Quincy Thanksgiving Tournament.

Cary-Grove at Huntley

7 p.m. Tuesday

Huntley begins its FVC Valley title defense as three-time champion. No team in FVC history has won four consecutive FVC titles (conference or division).

Hinkle Holiday Classic

Saturday, at Jacobs

The tournament has seven local schools – Jacobs, Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Johnsburg, Marian Central and Prairie Ridge.

E.C. Nichols Tournament

Saturday at Marengo

Marengo, Harvard, Richmond-Burton, Woodstock and Woodstock North are the five local teams in the 12-team field.

– Joe Stevenson

joestevenson@shawmedia.com

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