ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Woodstock North, sr., G
Schaffter scored 70 points in three games as the Thunder went 2-1 for the week.
The North point guard scored 21 with three 3-pointers in a 53-49 nonconference victory over Ridgewood. He also scored 25 points, with five 3s, in a 73-48 Kishwaukee River Conference win over Harvard.
On Tuesday, Schaffter tossed in six 3s and scored 24 points in a nonconference loss to Byron, 78-69.
Schaffter is a big reason why the Thunder will equal the school record for victories (10-19 in 2013) with one more win.
NORTHWEST HERALD POWER RANKINGS
1. Dundee-Crown (15-3): The Chargers have won seven in a row and hold a one-half game lead in the Fox Valley Conference. They do it with defense, winning twice last week by scoring a combined 76 points.
2. Cary-Grove (13-5): The Trojans have won five of their past six with wins over Jacobs and Prairie Ridge last week. Hampshire hit 11 3-pointers in C-G’s only loss during that stretch.
3. Crystal Lake Central (12-6): The Tigers have lost two of their past three, falling to D-C and Jacobs, after putting together a 10-game winning streak. They are in the middle of a 12-game span in which they play one game at home. Central is home again Jan. 29 against Rockford Auburn.
4. Crystal Lake South (14-6): The Gators have won five of their past seven games, with a double-overtime loss to Dixon and a loss to Central in that span. They beat Jacobs, McHenry and Prairie Ridge this week.
5. Huntley (10-6): The Red Raiders lost to Dundee-Crown, 53-50, closing the gap from 14 points in the fourth quarter to one with five seconds remaining Tuesday. They are two games into perhaps the toughest part of their schedule.
D-ing it up: A big reason why Dundee-Crown is on top of the FVC standings is its man-to-man defense, which has allowed 50 points only six times and a season-high of 56 to Huntley.
The Chargers’ size up front helps with forwards Brad Stec (6-foot-6), Josh Raby (6-5) and Jack Michalski (6-4) leading the way. Point guard Damarion Butler also is a tough defender.
D-C leans on its tough defense and a patient offensive approach to get by. So far, that has served the Chargers well.
“Our guys are figuring out what we need to do, and we keep taking steps,” Chargers coach Lance Huber said after Tuesday’s 53-50 win at Huntley. “Tonight we played really solid for three quarters. We always have a couple blips. We just try to learn from the mistakes we make and keep doing the things we do well.”
Proud father moment: Huber’s son Kyle is a junior guard for D-C who gets some minutes as a reserve. Kyle Huber did not play a lot in Tuesday’s game, but he contributed in a big way in the second quarter when Butler picked up his second foul.
D-C was in the middle of a six-minute scoring drought when Huber swished a long 3. He then drove to the basket and converted a three-point play moments later. It sparked the Chargers to eventually build a 14-point lead.
“Those were huge,” Lance Huber said. “It’s nerve-racking [as a father]. When you’re coaching, you’re like, ‘Well, should we put him in?’ It’s tough when you’re in that position. You want to make sure it’s fair for everybody, but he came in and delivered for us tonight.”
Anniversary time: D-C will celebrate its 2009 team at Friday’s home game against Prairie Ridge. That team is the only FVC team to ever play in the larger classes state tournament. The 2009 Chargers finished fourth in Class 4A.
Most of the players from that team will be on hand and will be recognized at halftime of the game. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Not always pretty: Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage saw his team struggle in the second half of a 40-35 victory over Jacobs on Saturday, but he was grateful for the points the Gators accrued.
“The Fox Valley’s going to be tough,” LePage said. “You’re going to have to make shots, and if you don’t make shots, you’re going to have to have the defense to hold you in games. That happened to both teams here, and we got lucky enough to win it.”
It is just as crowded near the top of the FVC standings as it was last week, with six teams within 1 1/2 games of each other. D-C (7-2) leads the way with five teams behind it at 5-3 or better.
Big week: Huntley coach Will Benson said the Red Raiders are facing a challenging week. They just beat Hampshire, lost to D-C, then have Cary-Grove on Friday, followed by the Wheaton Warrenville South Martin Luther King Tournament on Saturday and Monday, then hosting Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday.
“We’re in a tough, tough stretch,” Benson said. “Twelve of those 16 teams at Wheaton have winning records. We’ll find out a lot about ourselves.”
WHAT TO WATCH
Huntley at Cary-Grove, 7 p.m. Friday: The two teams are tied for fifth in the FVC, but they are each only 1 1/2 games out of first. C-G won the first meeting, 62-48.
Hampshire at CL South, 7 p.m. Friday: The two teams are tied for third in the FVC, only one game behind first-place D-C. Hampshire won the first meeting, 61-55.
Burlington Central Martin Luther King Classic, Saturday and Monday: Hampshire, Johnsburg and McHenry are the three local teams competing. McHenry plays Johnsburg at 3 p.m. Saturday; Hampshire faces Johnsburg at 6:30 p.m. Monday.