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Huntley's Ali Andrews makes a jump shot as Dundee-Crown's Melissa Barker attempts to block. | Erik Anderson/For Sun-Times Media
South Elgin’s girls started their season against Huntley, now they hope it doesn’t end against the Red Raiders and their 1-2 punch of Sam and Ali Andrews.
The teams hook up again Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Class 4A Crystal Lake South Sectional semifinals after each came away with regional titles Thursday night. Huntley beat Belvidere North 49-35 and the Storm stopped Streamwood 67-35 behind Anna Tracy’s 22 points.
“I remember playing them,” South Elgin senior Kennede Miller said. “I’m excited to play them Tuesday. I’m really good friends with some of them.”
Miller played alongside Sam and Ali Andrews as a teammate on the Midwest Elite AAU squad.
“Ali is the one that hurts us, but they’re both really dynamic,” Storm coach Tim Prendergast said.
It’s pick your poison for most teams with the Andrews sisters. Sophomore Ali scored 45 points in two regional wins and averaged more than 18 a game, but Sam averaged over 17 for Huntley (26-3).
“Both Sam and Ali do a fine job of playing off each other, which is rare,” said Huntley coach Steve Raethz, whose team finished fourth in state last year. “They run our high-low offense real well.”
Ali, who is 6-2, and Sam, who is 6-0, were held to 11 and 12 points, respectively, in the season-opening 52-46 South Elgin loss to Huntley. But the rest of the Red Raiders came through as Kayla Barreto had 12 and Bethany Zornow nine.
The game was a wild back-and-forth affair, with South Elgin (20-9) falling behind 21-4 then outscoring Huntley 30-6 to lead in the final minutes. Huntley used key three-pointers by Baretta and Zornow and its greatest strength — free throw shooting — to win.
The first meeting was Nov. 20, almost a completely different season ago. Since then Storm players have seen the squad come together with contributions from nine or 10 players a night. Balanced scoring and a deep bench have keyed their second run to sectionals in three years.
“I think our bench is key,” Prendergast said. “Laura McIntosh, Delaney Kelleher, Bridgette Williams, they’ve all been really solid off the bench and have been playing all year. So when they come out there, it’s not like it’s their first time out there.
“So it helps to have some depth on the bench.”
South Elgin’s three senior starters — Miller, Savanah Uveges and Tracy — made it this far three years ago and hope to get the chance at a sectional title Friday against the winner of the game between Cary-Grove and Rockford Boylan.
“When you’ve got the senior leadership like Anna and Sav and Kennede, it really helps,” Prendergast said. “You can tell the difference this year from last year.
“I think it’s going to come down to us playing loose, having fun, using our speed and just getting out there and running up and down. That’s what we are. We’re not big, we’re athletic.”