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Huntley's Bryce Only drives past Jacobs' Blake Micel on Tuesday. | Michael R. Schmidt ~ For Sun-Times Media
Huntley’s long winning streak in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division games might be over, but its streak of league championships is alive and well.
The Red Raiders clinched at least a share of their third consecutive FVC Valley title Tuesday by dismantling visiting Jacobs 54-26.
The triumph came three days after Huntley (16-7, 10-1) had its 29-game FVC Valley win streak snapped in a loss at Dundee-Crown. Against the Golden Eagles, the Raiders went back to the basics and turned in their best defensive performance of the season.
Jacobs (12-13, 6-4) managed only seven points in the second half and was a wretched 1-for-22 from field-goal range over the final two quarters.
“I think we were hungry to come out and beat Jacobs,” Huntley junior Zach Gorney said. “We knew what was on the line and that if we won tonight we’d clinch a share of the title. I think everyone wanted to get the job done.”
Gorney finished with a game-high 15 points and Jake Wagner added 14 points to pace a balanced scoring effort for Huntley. But the real story was the defensive play of the Red Raiders in the second half.
The Golden Eagles pulled within 26-21 on a pair of Jon Berndt free throws with 7:25 left in the third quarter. Jacobs wouldn’t score again until Patrick Nerja made his team’s only field goal of the second half at the 7:21 mark in the fourth quarter.
Huntley sandwiched a 25-2 run around Nerja’s basket and led 51-23 when Wagner sank a pair of free throws with 3:47 left. The Golden Eagles finished 7-for-37 (18.9 percent) from the field.
“(Huntley) took us out of everything and their defense was tremendous,” Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle said. “I think they were a little angry about their last game, and we paid the price.”
Lake Ojo tallied seven points and five rebounds to lead the Golden Eagles, who were coming off a 77-point performance in a win against Cary-Grove on Saturday. Remarkably, Tuesday’s effort wasn’t the lowest scoring output of the year for Jacobs, with that distinction going to a 25-point showing in a loss at Quincy on Nov. 24.
“It’s just been an inconsistent season,” Ojo said. “The last game we scored 77 points, and then we come back and score 26. I’m expecting an 80-point game the next time out.”
Huntley’s Amanze Egekeze was disruptive in the paint as usual and finished with nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
The Red Raiders will try to clinch the outright FVC Valley championship and start another winning streak in league games when they host Cary-Grove on Friday.
“I was happy with our effort Saturday (against Dundee-Crown), so that’s not really something I’ve questioned with our guys,” Huntley coach Marty Manning said. “I was glad there wasn’t a letdown in effort from Saturday night and that we weren’t feeling sorry for ourselves. We talked about that and we wanted to make sure that we came out ready to play.”
HUNTLEY 54, JACOBS 26
Jacobs (12-13, 6-4)
Ojo 3 1-2 7, Ledinsky 2 0-2 4, Schwerdtmann 1 2-2 4, Berndt 0 2-2 2, Murray 0 2-2 2, Orange 0 1-2 1, Lee 0 1-2 1, Billings 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 11-16 26.
Huntley (16-7, 10-1)
Gorney 4 7-8 15, Wagner 4 4-4 14, Egekeze 3 3-5 9, Only 2 1-3 6, Regan 1 1-2 4, Jacobs 1 0-0 3, Elam 1 0-0 3. Totals 16 16-22 54.
Jacobs 6 13 2 5 -- 26
Huntley 10 16 14 14 -- 54
Three-point goals -- Jacobs: 1 (Schwerdtmann). Huntley: 6 (Wagner 2, Regan, Jacobs, Only, Elam). Fouled out -- Jacobs: Billings. Huntley: None.