Huntley's 29-game winning streak against division opponents was gone in 29 seconds.
Consecutive Dundee-Crown 3-pointers by seniors Dylan Kissack and Brandon Rodriguez 29 seconds apart turned a tenuous 2-point lead into an 8-point cushion with 1:49 to play and propelled the Chargers to a 47-38 victory in Carpentersville Saturday night.
It was Huntley's first loss to a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division opponent since Jacobs defeated the Red Raiders on Jan. 14, 2011.
"It feels great, it really does," Kissack said of extinguishing the streak. "Kudos to Huntley. They're a great team and they've had this streak for a really long time. They've always been a tough team to play against. When you come up against Huntley you know it's going to be a tough game and a hard one to win. We worked really hard, especially on the defensive end. It definitely feels good to have that hard work pay off. "
The win was the sixth in a row for Dundee-Crown (17-5, 8-2), which had lost 7 straight against Huntley (15-7, 9-1). It was D-C's first victory over the Red Raiders since Feb. 12, 2010.
"Last year we played them three times and we were ahead at halftime every game, and they just found a way to put us away," D-C coach Lance Huber said. "The year before that it was very similar. We've had a hard time getting over the Huntley hump."
D-C cleared the hurdle by limiting Huntley to 15-of-43 shooting from the field (35 percent). Many of those misses were from point-blank range.
"We missed 15 layups," Huntley coach Marty Manning said. "When you do that, you don't deserve to win. Defensively, we were good enough to win. I thought we handled the ball well enough to win. The first time we played them we had 17 turnovers. This game we had 11. We just missed too many shots from three feet and less. Unfortunately, in the game of basketball you actually have to put the ball through the hoop."
A deliberately played first half that featured 7 lead changes ended with Huntley ahead 17-15. However, D-C took the lead midway through the third quarter on 5 straight points from Kissack, who led all scorers with 14 points to go with his 5 rebounds.
The Chargers led 29-26 after three quarters and upped their lead to 6 points when Rodriguez opened the final period with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. The Red Raiders managed to stay within a possession of the lead when reserve guard TJ Adams drained a 3-pointer with 3:17 to play.
That's when D-C's veterans stepped up. Kissack, on a feed from junior guard Cordero Parson, drilled a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the left corner with 2:18 to play.
"I knew that we needed a little answer, a little boost," Kissack said. "Cordero drove and drew my defender and just kicked it out to me. And I was ready to fire."
Rodriguez (12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) followed up with arguably his most important sequence of the season. First, the 6-foot-1 guard made a steal at the defensive end to regain possession. He then hustled downcourt, got the ball back on the left edge of the 3-point arc and buried a shot in rhythm with 1:49 remaining to send the already fired-up D-C student section to the brink of delirium.
"Big steal, big shot, big plays," Rodriguez said in summary. "We just tried to take it to them. Finally, we beat them. It's been a long run, but we finally got 'em."
Two-time defending FVC Valley champion Huntley can still win its third straight outright title by sweeping home games against Jacobs on Tuesday and Cary-Grove on Friday.
"This was their night," Huntley senior Bryce Only said of the Chargers. "We've got two more chances on Tuesday and Friday to handle business."
Dundee-Crown must win its remaining games against Crystal Lake South and Cary-Grove and hope for some help to gain a share of the title.
"We can only control what we can control," Huber said. "If we take care of business and they happen to stumble, good for us. If they don't, we're just trying to get better every day. I hope the guys in the locker room want to keep getting better and better."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.