Boys Basketball:Huntley advances to title game at JacobsChicago Hope's Andre Thomas (0) blocks a charge by Huntley's Troy Miller (20) during their semi-final game of the 2011 Jacobs Boys Holiday Basketball Classic at Jacobs High School on Thursday, December 22, 2011. | Kevin D. Sherman ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 22, 2011 9:34PM
It looked more like someone using a yo-yo rather than basketball for 3 1/2 quarters Thursday when Huntley stormed back from a 16-point second-quarter deficit, then lost the lead against Hope Academy in the semifinals of the Jacobs Tournament.
Huntley had one last trick up its sleeve, however, and the Red Raiders won the game of wild swings 66-60, by making a late defensive stand and sinking free throws in the closing minutes. As a result, the Red Raiders will face Crystal Lake Central in the title game at 7:30.
“We knew that if we could get in our defense and pack it in the lane, we could win at the end because they don’t shoot outside shots — it’s all layups,” Huntley guard Troy Miller said.
Huntley did more than pack it in; they stole the ball and the game. Miller made five fourth-quarter steals or deflections, including a huge steal from Hope star Jalen James with 1:05 left and Huntley protecting a 60-58 lead.
It forced Hope (12-2) to start fouling, and in the closing 48.5 seconds Justin Frederick drilled 6-of-6 free throws to lock up the win.
“There was a lot of standing around at the end by us,” Hope coach Mike Edwards said. “I don’t know. Maybe they were all waiting for Kobe (Bryant) to walk into the gym and play for us.”
Frederick and Miller had 18 points each and Bryce Only 13 for Huntley, but the big number was 17 turnovers by Hope.
“You’re not going to win when you make 17 turnovers against a team that’s not pressing you,” Edwards said.
Hope was pressing Huntley, though, especially early. It paid off as the Eagles outscored Huntley 26-14 in the second quarter, including a 21-1 run for a 34-18 lead. Huntley made five turnovers in the stretch that lasted for 5:13.
“They trapped us. They gave us a lot of pressure and we couldn’t handle it,” Miller said.
The Red Raiders (9-1) solved the press and went on a run of their own, outscoring Hope 13-7 to close the half trailing 41-31 then coming out in the third quarter with a 13-2 run for a 44-43 lead. Miller’s layup after a turnover gave Huntley back the lead. It changed hands three more times before Frederick’s free throw with 3:09 left tied it at 58. And Only made two free throws after a Miller steal for a 60-58 lead Huntley never gave up en route to its fourth straight win.
“I thought we played pretty good defense even though we gave up 41 points in the first half,” Huntley coach Marty Manning said.
Huntley held Hope to 8-of-23 from the field in the second half after the Eagles made 21-of-35 before the break. James had 12 points before fouling out in the final seconds. Carson Hughes had 10 points and Tyrone Smith nine for Hope.