Basketball

High school girls basketball insider: Athlete of week, rankings, notes

Ali Andrews, Huntley, sr., F
Ali Andrews, Huntley, sr., F

Athlete of the week

Ali Andrews

Huntley, sr., F

The Illinois signee topped 2,000 career points in a 55-24 nonconference win against Conant, scoring 21 points in the victory. She led the Raiders (11-0) with 21 points in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win against McHenry and added 21 more against Barrington on Saturday. Andrews broke the school scoring record as a junior and stands at 2,045 career points. The next record she can break is McHenry County’s career scoring record, held by Johnsburg graduate Melissa Dixon with 2,146 points.

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Huntley (11-0, 3-0 FVC Valley): The Red Raiders picked up a Valley Division victory against McHenry and two nonconference wins against Conant and Barrington to remain undefeated heading into the Montini Christmas Tournament.

2. Hampshire (8-2, 3-0 FVC Fox): The Whip-Purs have won six in a row, earning victories against Crystal Lake Central and Palatine over the past week. They are tied with Grayslake Central for first place in the FVC Fox.

3. Johnsburg (8-1, 2-0 BNC East): The Skyhawks defeated Marengo with sophomore Aannah Interrante and Kayla Stefka both scoring in double figures for Johnsburg.

4. Crystal Lake South (7-3, 3-0 FVC Valley): The Gators beat Jacobs to improve to 3-0 in the FVC Valley, winning their sixth straight game overall. South is tied with Huntley atop the division, but the two teams don’t play each other until Jan. 27.

5. Prairie Ridge (6-4, 2-1 FVC Fox): The Wolves used one of their best defensive efforts of the season to suffocate and beat Marian Central, 45-28, ending a two-game skid.

Noteworthy

Hurricanes showing improvement: Marian Central struggled mightily in its first year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, going winless and finishing 4-25 overall. This season, the Hurricanes surpassed four wins in the first eight games.

A big reason Marian (5-5) has improved is the addition of sophomore Vannessa Garrelts, but first-year coach Tony Powe believes there is more to it.

“They’re a very positive bunch. They generally like each other,” Powe said. “They root for each other. They pull for each other. ... I keep telling them, it’s a journey. And in that journey, you have ups and you have downs, and you’ve just got to learn from this one (your last game) going forward.”

The place to be: The Montini Christmas Tournament promises to be one of the most competitive girls basketball tournaments in the state again, with Montini, Whitney Young, Benet, Hersey and Huntley drawing the top five seeds.

Benet won the Class 4A state championship last season, while Montini took third in Class 3A. Fifth-seeded Huntley will face No. 12 Bolingbrook in the first round Dec. 26.

The Red Raiders finished 3-1 in the tournament last year, winning the fifth-place game over Neuqua Valley. They’ll enter this year’s tournament undefeated with no games between now and Dec. 26.

This week’s top games

Prairie Ridge at Hampshire

7 p.m. Tuesday

The reigning FVC Fox co-champions meet for the first of two regular-season meetings.

Northern Illinois Holiday Classic

Friday, Saturday and Monday at various sites

Ten local teams will be in action, including Johnsburg and Crystal Lake South. The Gators lost in the championship to North Chicago last year.

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