High school boys basketball insider: Notes, power rankings and what to watch

Uchenna Egekeze
Uchenna Egekeze

Huntley’s Uchenna Egekeze should become the next area player to reach 1,000 points for his career after scoring 19 in Wednesday’s 72-41 win against Crystal Lake Central.

Egekeze needs 22 points to reach 1,000. His brother Amanze, the Northwest Herald 2014 Player of the Year, scored 1,115 for his career.

Huntley’s Ryan Sroka stands at (912), Hampshire’s Collin Woods has (883) and Cary-Grove’s Frank Jakubicek has (869) after Wednesday’s games, and all should also pass 1,000 for their careers.

C-G’s Beau Frericks, who already passed 1,000, became the Trojans’ career scoring leader when he tossed in 24 points in C-G’s 78-65 loss to Waubonsie Valley in the Jacobs’ Hinkle Holiday Classic championship. Frericks has 1,147 for his career and passed Jason Gregoire (1,138) as C-G’s all-time boys scoring leader.

The Steaks’ streak: Woodstock stretched its remarkable consecutive streak of games with a 3-pointer to 179 on Saturday when Nate Archambeau hit its lone 3 in a 62-25 loss to Sycamore.

Blue Streaks coach Al Baker has kept track and the last time his team did not make a 3 in a game came on Dec. 10, 2013 against Jacobs. Archambeau’s 3 on Saturday marked the eighth time the Streaks made only one 3 to keep the streak alive. Marcus Ammirati, Alex Ferguson, Vannis Smith, Dan Shook, Evan Bridges and Blake Shallenberger did it before this season.

Jeremiah Betts-Moses hit the Streaks’ only 3 on Dec. 13 this season, although Baker tweeted the video and the Streaks caught a break. Betts-Moses’ front foot was over the line, but he was still credited with a 3, proving any athletic streak can require a little good fortune.

In recent seasons, hitting 3s was rarely a problem for the Streaks. Baker’s offense liberally fires away from behind the arc. Last season, led by Bridges, Woodstock’s career 3-point leader (255), the Streaks hit 275, which ranks them among the IHSA’s all-time top 15 boys teams. Carl Anderson (71) and Andrew Adams (48) were the other top long-range shooters on that team.

Hatcher injured: Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber was uncertain about the status of senior point guard Trayvon Hatcher after Wednesday’s 39-38 win at Crystal Lake South.

Hatcher was on a fast break and was fouled when he pulled up and hobbled off the court. He was attended to by South’s trainer, but did not return to the game.

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Cary-Grove (13-2): The Trojans had won 11 in a row before losing to Waubonsie Valley in the Hinkle Holiday Classic title game. They beat Crystal Lake Central, 72-41, on Wednesday and now hold sole possession of first place in the Fox Valley Conference.

2. Huntley (12-3): The Red Raiders added wins over Burlington Central and Crystal Lake Central after their fifth-place finish in DeKalb’s Chuck Dayton Classic and are headed for their best season since 2014.

3. Hampshire (11-4): The Whip-Purs’ 12-game winning streak was halted by Burlington Central, 54-40, on Wednesday. They won Marengo’s E.C. Nichols Holiday Tournament over the break.

4. Marengo (12-2): Welcome to the top five, Indians. Marengo beat Stillman Valley on Tuesday after taking second in its own E.C. Nichols Holiday Tournament to Hampshire, 57-53. Sophomore Matt Volkening usually leads the scoring, but the Indians find points all over their lineup.

5. Dundee-Crown (7-6): The Chargers are another new team in the rankings after a stunning comeback victory at Crystal Lake South, 39-38, on Wednesday. D-C was down, 34-18, with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter of that game.

What to Watch

Hampshire vs. Cary-Grove, 7 p.m. Friday: C-G has been the area’s best team. Hampshire has been right there behind the Trojans in the FVC standings. Both just had double-digit winning streaks snapped, but this is a pivotal game for the conference race.

Dundee-Crown vs. Jacobs, 7 p.m. Friday: Jacobs (4-2) is fourth and D-C (3-2) is fifth in the FVC standings. This intra-district rivalry is always spirited.

Marengo vs. Richmond-Burton, 7 p.m. Tuesday: The Indians look like the team to beat in the Kishwaukee River Conference, while R-B looks like the top candidate to give them some trouble.

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