Huntley Plays Tough, Defeats Barrington In Physical Battle

Huntley warms up before Saturday’s game against Barrington.

Huntley 38 Barrington 31

Huntley head coach Marty Manning said he scheduled Barrington to expose his Red Raiders to the type of physical play that awaits the team in the upcoming state playoffs.

Manning got what he wanted as Huntley outlasted Barrington 38-31 in a defensive grinder Saturday night in Huntley.

“They were very physical with us, they fought through all our screens. Coming from the MSL, they play a lot of bigger teams, and I guess you could say a lot of better teams,” said Huntley guard Bryce Only, who had nine points and six rebounds off the bench. “That’s going to help us in the playoffs, we have four or five teams that play pretty physical basketball in regionals.”

The game was typified by the competitive battle inside between Huntley (24-2) sophomore Amanze Egekeze and BarringReton (18-9) senior John Schneider. Egekeze, who led the Red Raiders with 10 points, said he knew going into the game that it would be a tough night for him.

“I knew he was going to try to bottle me up, so I tried not to let it get to my head and just keep cool. Obviously, I’m not the strongest guy, so it was a tough battle there, I just tried to help out,” said Egekeze. “The main thing for me was just keeping my cool. He did the same thing to me last year, and I lost my way and let him get to me. This time I thought I did a better job, I took what he gave me and was able to capitalize on the opportunities.”

Schneider led the Broncos with 13 points, 11 of them in the second half. Barrington head coach Bryan Tucker thought his team could have gotten Schnieder more touches.

“I just think we probably could have gotten the ball inside a little more in the first half, and it could have been a different story,” said Tucker. “Our kids started getting it into Schneider, and in the second half, he did some really good things for us.”

Huntley led wire-to-wire, but the Red Raiders were never able to pull away from the Broncos. Huntley led 9-5 after the first quarter and went into halftime up 15-11.

The Red Raiders were ahead 25-22 going into the fourth quarter and quickly expanded their lead with a 7-2 run to begin the final frame. Egekeze’s layup with four and a half minutes left gave Huntley a 32-24 lead, their biggest of the game.

Brad Zaumseil (10 points) hit a three-pointer with 29 seconds left to pull the Broncos within three points at 34-31.

The Red Raiders were then able to knock down their final four free throw attempts and held on for the victory.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times and yourseason.com
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