GRAYSLAKE – Being able to depend on sisters Sam and Ali Andrews is something that Huntley has been able to do plenty the past two seasons. Friday night was no different as the two scored 48 of their team’s 56 points, in a 56-45 win over Grayslake North.
The win gave Huntley bragging rights, as the matchup featured the first-place teams from each division in the Fox Valley Conference. The Red Raiders (24-3, 12-0) won the Valley Division, while the Knights took care of the Fox Division.
The crossover matchup didn’t count toward conference record, but Ali Andrews believed that the team was still focused to get a big win in their last game before postseason play starts.
“It’s a good way to end our conference season,” Andrews said. “It’s good to head into the playoffs with another win under our belt.”
Ali led the way with 28 points, tying her career high, while Sam added 20. The girls were a handful all night and Grayslake North coach Nate Flannery knew it would be an extremely tough test for his girls.
“We thought the best thing for us to play would be a zone,” Flannery said. “Then each of them [Sam and Ali] knocked down threes. I mean there’s only so much you can do. They are both great players and I’m very proud of the way our team played.”
The Knights (20-9, 11-1) were led, on their senior night, by seniors Kendall Detweiler and Brittany Thibeaux, who added 16 and 12 points, respectively. Thibeaux had the tough task of guarding Ali Andrews for much of the game.
“They are really good,” Thibeaux said. “All we can do is pressure them and go straight up. They were still able to draw fouls and score a lot. They are going to go very far.”
The Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead, prompting a timeout from Flannery.
“It’s like I blinked my eyes and we were down 9-0,” Flannery said. “That kind of start can’t happen against a good team like that.”
Grayslake North was able to come back from the slow start, taking the lead 20-19 with 3:13 remaining in the second quarter. They did not score another point the remainder of the quarter as Ali and Sam went on a combined 8-0 run to end the half.
The Red Raiders never looked back, leading the entire second half. Freshman Morgan Clausen made a layup with 7:36 remaining, giving Huntley its only basket on the night by someone not named Andrews.
Huntley coach Steve Raethz knows there are small things his team needs to work on before heading to their regional in Rockford, but is proud the team’s effort.
“There are tiny things we need to work on,” Raethz said. “We’d like to have more offensive production from other players, but we have girls capable of doing that. Our playoff road starts tomorrow with practice, and we will go from there.”