Created:Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:43 p.m.CDT
Updated:Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:52 p.m.CDT
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Inside Girls Basketball

Athlete of the Week

Olivia Jakubicek

Cary-Grove, sr.

Led by Jakubicek, a forward, the Trojans placed second at the Mundelein Tournament, with their only losses coming against undefeated Vernon Hills, including a 50-47 loss in the tournament final. Jakubicek averaged 17 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals a game during the tournament. She also shot 49 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line.

Noteworthy

Barker nears return: Cary-Grove sophomore guard/forward Katie Barker has been waiting a long time to get back on the basketball court.

Barker has yet to play a game for the Trojans after the meniscus in her right knee was repaired. But C-G coach Rod Saffert expects she’ll return within the next week, potentially seeing a few minutes Jan. 9 against Dundee-Crown after receiving clearance from her doctor Wednesday. Saffert wants Barker, one of C-G’s captains, to get a few practices under her belt to test her knee.

“I’m not saying she’ll all the sudden become a scoring threat, but it’s just nice to have another threat on the floor,” Saffert said. “The sad part for her was, from last year to this year’s fall league, she had worked so hard at her game that she was just a completely different player. … I think it makes us tougher because now you have to stop three of us.”

Conference play resumes: Fox Valley Conference action picks up this week, and the target is on Huntley’s back.

The Red Raiders sit atop the FVC Valley Division at 4-0, but three teams (Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake South and McHenry) are only one game behind. Prairie Ridge also is lurking in what should be a tightly contested division.

“The biggest focus that we have is just making sure that we come prepared and ready to play each conference game,” Huntley coach Steve Raethz said. “Those are the things that we need to focus on and make sure we have control over. We’ve got some crucial games coming up.”

This week’s top games

Crystal Lake South at Prairie Ridge

7 p.m. Friday

The Gators and Wolves both believe they’re contenders for the FVC Valley title. A road win would be important for South, and matching Prairie Ridge’s intensity will be key.

Cary-Grove at McHenry

7 p.m. Friday

The Trojans continue a rough road stretch, as their game at McHenry tips off three consecutive conference contests away from C-G.

Meghan Montemurro
mmontemurro@shawmedia.com