Huntley senior Haley Ream joked that she will hear about it when she doesn't shoot enough.
But there was nothing wrong with the shout-out Ream received from head coach Steve Raethz after the Red Raiders battled past visiting Prairie Ridge 55-41 in Friday night's Fox Valley Conference Valley Division girls basketball game.
The Huntley coaching staff was leaving the locker room when an assistant mentioned Ream's defensive effort. Raethz immediately stopped, went back in and made a point to shout a few congratulatory words to the leader of a team starting two freshmen and two juniors.
"Usually I get yelled at because I don't shoot the ball," Ream said with a smile after scoring 4 points. "Rebounding and playing good defense makes up for that."
It certainly did as Ali and Sam Andrews combined for 31 points and junior Bethany Zornow added 9 points to help the Raiders (16-4, 7-1) remain in a tie for the division lead with Cary-Grove (14-6, 7-1), which beat Crystal Lake South 48-36.
Ream scored only 4 points but had a team-high 10 rebounds and 5 assists. She also shadowed Prairie Ridge (13-8, 3-5) junior Nicole LeBeau into just 2 points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field with 5 missed 3-pointers.
"Haley did a fantastic job of containing her and limiting her from the 3-point line," Raethz said after Huntley's second win over PR this season. "There are a lot of intangibles she brings to our team from a rebounding, leadership and court vision standpoint. There are a lot of positive things she does for us."
One of the biggest is her work to put her counterpart in a negative frame of mind.
"I always draw the best shooter and try to do the best I can," Ream said. "If you stop someone at the beginning, they get really frustrated and that's good for our team."
PR was doing its best to fluster Huntley with a defensive mix of man-to-man, zones, box-and-one and triangle-and-two designed to slow the Andrews sisters. Consecutive layups by Maddie Drain off Bri Fenton assists gave the Wolves a 20-18 lead 4:58 before halftime.
But a drive by junior Sam Andrews (15 points, 6 rebounds) started a 12-2 burst to give the Red Raiders a 30-22 lead 44 seconds after intermission on Ream's feed to a cutting Ali Andrews (16 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) for a layup.
PR, which got a team-high 13 points from Kelsey Bear, got no closer than 6 points the rest of the way as a little more patience paid off in 11-for-20 second-half shooting from the field for Huntley.
"When we start shooting from the outside it relieves the pressure on Sam and Ali," Ream said.
"I thought our kids really responded well," Raethz said. "Most important, we had five offensive-minded players out there."
And one who doesn't mind playing defense at the expense of her own offense in Haley Ream.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.