CRYSTAL LAKE – Jake Wagner might have fared better if he had taken his free throws from Prairie Ridge's baseline wing.
Instead the Huntley senior made nine 3-pointers from that spot Friday to set a single-game school record en route to a 76-51 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win over Prairie Ridge.
Wagner took advantage of Prairie Ridge's 2-3 zone defense to drain 9 of 12 from beyond the arc for 32 points, a career high. He hit 1 of 3 free throws.
"Our team has so many different scoring options, so any night anyone can go off, and it was just my night," Wagner said. "My teammates were feeding me well, and I was just feeling it."
Huntley coach Marty Manning stood dumbfounded by what he was seeing.
"There were a couple shots that went up and I said, 'Bad shot, bad shot,' " Manning said. "He can get in a rhythm and knock 'em down. We've seen it in practice many times."
The Wolves (4-12 overall, 1-2 FVC Valley) cut Huntley's lead to four points four times, but Huntley had no problem keeping pace and putting them away for its sixth straight win.
"It was a fight to get back into the game the whole time," Prairie Ridge coach Corky Card said. "They got either a big shot when they needed it, an offensive rebound when they needed it or they turned us over when they needed it. ... We could really never get a good punch in on them."
Huntley (10-5, 4-0) also got scoring from junior Zach Gorney (13 points) and senior Tommy Regan (11).
Prairie Ridge junior Max Tucker, who scored a team-high 12 points, tipped in a half-court heave at the buzzer to cut Huntley's lead to nine at halftime, which set the tone for a back-and-forth third quarter.
A half-opening 3 from from Wolves junior Michael Bradshaw maintained that momentum, which ended in a long baseline two from Bradshaw that cut the Red Raiders' lead to four points for the final time with 1:18 left in the quarter.
The uptempo, hard-pressing quarter from Prairie Ridge only seemed to stir up trouble.
"Our defense stiffened, and because of that we got some turnovers, which led to some easy baskets for us [in the fourth quarter]," Manning said.
Huntley went on a 22-1 run in the fourth quarter, including three Wagner 3s and a breakaway dunk from junior forward Amanze Egekeze, who is playing limited minutes while he recovers from knee surgery.
"[Egekeze] played a lot better and had some more minutes against South, but the next day in practice he was really sore and we kind of saw that today," Manning said. "We're just monitoring his minutes and going by feel."
Wagner couldn't expain his night.
"Honestly," he said, "I didn't feel that well before the game – I kind of felt sick."