Huntley runs away from South Elgin to finish Dundee-Crown tournament 2-2
Huntley coach Steve Raethz called a timeout two minutes into the Red Raiders' game against South Elgin on Tuesday and emphasized the importance of not allowing any more easy baskets.
Huntley, which won 28 games a year ago but graduated eight, is still in the early stages of finding its groove.
"We just wanted to see them respond defensively and not give up any more buckets in the manner that they did," Raethz said. "With 10 new varsity players on the team, I think it's a positive to be in those types of situations early on."
After allowing the first four points of the game, the Raiders came out of the timeout with the next 21.
Twelve players went on to score for the Raiders, who ran away with a 60-23 win over the Storm and finished the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament with a 2-2 record.
Junior guard Anna Campanelli led Huntley (2-2) with 13 points, junior Isabella Boskey chipped in 10 points, including two 3-pointers, and senior Cassidy Serpe had eight points.
Freshman forward Paula Strzelecki finished with six points and six rebounds for Huntley, which shot 50% (19 of 48) from the field over the first three quarters.
Huntley got a running clock on South Elgin (1-3) with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter after back-to-back putbacks by Serpe.
The Raiders' defense forced 32 turnovers.
"I think we learned a lot," Campanelli said. "We started off a little rough, but we knew we had it in us to compete. We just had to put it all together, and I think throughout the tournament, we got better every game.
"I'm just really excited to open up the conference games."
Campanelli returns as the Raiders' leading scorer after averaging 8.1 points as a sophomore. Her older sister, Sammi Campanelli, was one of eight players to graduate from last year's 28-5 team. The team's top scorer, Jessie Ozzauto, also graduated.
Huntley went undefeated in the Fox Valley Conference last season.
Campanelli, who has multiple college offers, is taking on a bigger leadership role this year, but said she has had a lot of help from her teammates early on.
"It's very different this year," Campanelli said. "The leadership role has been good, and having my teammates helping me in practice and picking me up in games has been great. I feel like we have a very coachable team, and with the older players that have been on varsity, we all get along together so well."
Boskey, who is seeing more time on varsity this year, made two 3s from the same spot to close out the first half, with her second coming right before the buzzer.
"I feel like after a timeout, our energy as a team on the bench and on the court is a lot better," Boskey said. "My teammates were really able to push the ball up in transition and find me open and I was just ready to shoot it."
Huntley started the tournament with losses to Boylan and Hononegah, although both were close.
"There were segments in both of those games where we competed really well," Raethz said. "At the same time, there were some segments where we let things get away from us a little bit. Tonight was a great way to finish off the tournament here with a lot of contributions and really solid efforts from all 15 of our kids. I was just happy for them to get a win heading into Thanksgiving."
South Elgin was led by junior guard Lexi Lopez with nine points while senior Madison Hunt tossed in eight, including two 3-pointers.
The Storm finished the tournament 1-3, picking up a 50-44 win against Dundee-Crown.
"We're very young and inexperienced," South Elgin coach Emily Driessen said. "We only have three girls returning (from last year), which has been an adjustment. But we've seen glimpses. We see good things coming. We just need to start doing it for a full 32 minutes."