HUNTLEY – There is a lot of attention always given to Huntley senior forward Amanze Egekeze. On Friday night in a 59-40 home victory over Dundee-Crown, the Red Raiders proved they can succeed even when Egekeze isn’t having a big start.
The victory kept Huntley undefeated in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division and moved it one step closer to a division title.
Huntley (15-4 overall, 7-0 FVC Valley) was able to jump out to a lead in the first half. The Red Raiders led 30-20 at halftime, with Egekeze taking only one shot. The second half was a much different story, with Egekeze taking control of the game and scoring 14 of his team-high 18 points over the final 16 minutes.
Zach Gorney added 16 points and said the fact teams focus on Egekeze so much gives him the opportunity to have a huge game.
“When they double-team Amanze, it leaves me wide open a lot. They have all their attention on Amanze, and it leaves me open down low where I can score, too,” Gorney said.
Gorney added that the team’s balance is why they are doing so well this season.
“We have a lot of guys who score, not just Amanze,” Gorney said. “If they are holding Amanze down, we got other guys who can score too.”
Huntley coach Marty Manning said the team’s play in a previous game led him to encourage a different plan of attack.
“One of the things we learned from the Barrington game is that we had a lot of guys who were open and didn’t take shots, so we made it a point of emphasis in practice that we need to be prepared to shoot when teams double-team Amanze,” Manning said. “Kyle (Slonka) made some big 3-pointers in the first half and Zach (Gorney) hit some shots too. I was happy with the balance of our offense.”
D-C (5-15, 1-7) had its chances, including during an 8-0 run in the second quarter that pulled the Chargers within 28-20. But they could never draw any closer. Kiwaun Seals scored 18 points to lead the Chargers. D-C coach Lance Huber said his team struggled against the height of the Red Raiders.
“We’re not big, and they are, and their big guys ate us up,” Huber said. “We didn’t have an answer for them. If they are going to shoot the ball like that (making six 3-pointers), they are going to be really tough to beat.”