It wasnt so much the lid on the basket that frustrated Palatines girls basketball team Wednesday night as much as it was Huntleys defense.
Employing a stifling man-to-man, in-your-face defense, Huntley held Palatine to an 11 of 48 shooting night and caused the Pirates 20 turnovers as the Red Raiders ran away with the final game of the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament 46-28.
Palatine, which suffered its first loss of the season, was awarded the tournament championship trophy based on most quarters won in the five games played. The Pirates, Huntley, Hononegah and Streamwood all finished 4-1 in the tournament.
And it wasnt that Palatine didnt play with effort in Wednesdays loss. It was more a Huntley team that has already turned some heads and is sure to turn many more as the season goes on if the Red Raiders continue to play with the intensity they did on Wednesday.
Give Huntley a ton of credit, said Palatine coach Leslie Schock. They had us scouted well and they played extremely hard on defense. Kudos to them.
Six-foot-two freshman Ali Andrews led the way for the Red Raiders (5-1) again with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. Her sophomore sister Sam scored 13 points and had 3 assists.
It was a really good team effort, said Sam Andrews. We had to dig in. Every possession counted. We came out pretty strong. We had our moments but we came back strong. Were really happy and were going to keep going strong.
Palatine led 12-8 after a basket by Carissa Moulton with 7:13 left in the first half. But Huntley went on an 11-2 run to end the half with a 19-14 lead and the Red Raiders never looked back. Leading 24-18 with 5:55 left in the third quarter, an Ali Andrews basket sent Huntley on a 20-0 run that made the lead 44-18 after 2 free throws from Bethany Zornow with 4:45 left in the game.
The exclamation point of Huntleys defensive effort was holding Palatine stalwart Nia Pappas scoreless on the night.
The kids did a fantastic job, said Huntley coach Steve Raethz. We had similar styles defensive and we knew it would be a tough challenge but the kids stepped up to the challenge. Haley Ream did a nice job of containing Pappas and her teammates did a nice job of playing help defense. The collective defensive effort jump-started us, especially in the third quarter. Im very pleased with the way we closed out the tournament.
Huntley made 17 of 36 from the floor and only turned the ball over 14 times.
Monica Macini led Palatine with 8 points. Morgan Radtke had 6 points and 6 rebounds as the Pirates did outrebound Huntley 36-20.
We couldnt score, said Schock. Their defense was stifling but the last two games weve struggled to score. Thats six games in the last week and a half. It will be nice to have some practice time and retool some things.