Athlete of the Week
Rodriguez had games of 16 and 12 points last week as the Chargers defeated Prairie Ridge and Huntley in two Fox Valley Conference Valley Division games. By winning the two games, D-C kept Huntley from clinching its third consecutive division title.
Rodriguez was big in the clutch in Saturday’s 47-38 victory over Huntley, scoring nine of his 12 in the final quarter. He hit a 3-pointer early, made 3 of 4 free throws, then nailed a 3 with 1:47 remaining.
Forward Dylan Kissack hit a 3 on the Chargers’ previous possession, then Rodriguez stole the ball from Bryce Only and hit a 3 on the next trip for an eight-point lead. D-C ended the Red Raiders’ 29-game Valley winning streak.
Another streak still alive: Huntley (15-7 overall, 9-1 FVC Valley) still leads the FVC Valley by a game over D-C and can win its third consecutive division championship with home wins this week against Jacobs and Cary-Grove. D-C (17-5, 8-2) is a game back and Jacobs (14-12, 7-3) is two back.
“We have two big games,” guard Bryce Only said. “Tuesday and Friday we just have to handle our business.”
Huntley and Crystal Lake Central, which leads the FVC Fox by a game over Hampshire, could meet again Feb. 22 in the FVC crossover placement games. The last regular-season date is reserved for games between teams from corresponding places in each division. This year, the FVC Valley teams will host those games.
Central beat Huntley, 54-46, in December, but Huntley’s 6-foot-7 forward Amanze Egekeze missed that game. He had surgery in late September to relieve the patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
Big week: Woodstock guard Jordan Turner had games of 26 and 31 points last week as the Blue Streaks defeated Grayslake Central and Woodstock North.
Turner also had a buzzer-beating dunk to end the third quarter against North. Turner picked up some of the scoring slack with 6-foot-7 Damian Stoneking out of the lineup with a sprained ankle.
Woodstock coach Alex Baker said Stoneking likely will miss two more games and return for the FVC’s crossover placement games that finish the regular season on Friday, Feb. 28.
Give them a hand: Rowdy fans make for such a better atmosphere at basketball games, and this season no school may do it better than Dundee-Crown. The Chargers’ fans are extremely supportive, creative and loud.
Earlier in the season at Jacobs, the D-C fans all wore red and had one student, dressed as Moses, run to the top of the stands while the others parted. In the home rematch against Jacobs, D-C’s fans were louder than ever and provided entertainment with a choreographed light-saber fight between two students dressed as Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Chargers coach Lance Huber spoke after that game about how the fans made a difference.
On Saturday, D-C’s fans offered another bit of hilarity in their game against Huntley. In the third quarter, they chanted “Where’s Waldo?” during a timeout. A few moments later, a D-C student, dressed in a red-and-white striped stocking cap and shirt, ran from Huntley’s side across the baseline to D-C’s and waved to the crowd.
This week’s top games
Jacobs at Huntley
7 p.m. Tuesday
The Red Raiders will try to clinch a share of their third consecutive FVC Valley title, while Jacobs will try to keep itself alive in the race.
7 p.m. Tuesday
The Rockets need a win to not fall further behind Burlington Central in the Big Northern Conference East Division race. R-B finishes the regular season with Burlington, so it can still win the division in some form.
CL Central at Grayslake North
7 p.m. Friday
The Tigers could be looking at wrapping up the outright FVC Fox championship with a win at Grayslake Central and another win Friday at Grayslake North.
– Joe Stevenson