Girls basketball: Huntley defeats Hampshire, extends FVC winning streak to 30 games

Anna Campanelli (17 points), Cassidy Serpe (15 points) lead Red Raiders to 43-42 victory

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HAMPSHIRE – Hanging onto a slim lead against Hampshire in the closing seconds Friday, Huntley needed one last defensive stop to keep its Fox Valley Conference winning streak alive.

Junior forward Paula Strzelecki delivered the key stop for the Red Raiders, meeting senior guard Ashley Herzing on the baseline as she drove to the basket and denying the Whip-Purs’ top scorer with a two-handed block.

Anna Campanelli came up with the loose ball, made two free throws, and Huntley defeated Hampshire 43-42 to extend its FVC winning streak to 30 games. The Raiders (4-2, 2-0 FVC) have now won their past seven games against the Whips (2-4, 1-1).

“I thought our team’s resolve was unbelievable down the stretch,” Huntley coach Steve Raethz said. “I’m so proud of every player on our team. Everybody was really into it tonight and were there for each other.”

Herzing hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Hampshire’s final points, but the outcome was already decided. Campanelli’s two free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining gave Huntley a 43-39 lead.

With 12.1 seconds left and her team up 41-39, Strzelecki thought back to a specific drill in practice.

“We have this one drill called ‘Perfect’ where (the other team) can’t score,” Strzelecki said. “I related it to that and just went for it 100%. I had four fouls and didn’t want to get my fifth, so I stood straight up, used both hands and got the block.”

Campanelli, a junior, hit three 3s and had a game-high 17 points. Senior guard Cassidy Serpe had 15 points and three 3s, sophomore guard Aubrina Adamik had six points, and junior Ava McFadden had five.

“They’re a really good team and definitely a really strong team that we want to play against,” Campanelli said. “We want to play the best competition. We lost a few early in the season that we were up on teams and it just didn’t go our way, so it was nice to get this win.

“We’ve been practicing really hard and our coaches have done a nice job of scouting and helping us in these big games.”

Hampshire never led in the second half and trailed 37-29 with 4:30 left following a 3 from Adamik. The Whips, however, responded with a 10-4 run, recording back-to-back 3s from Herzing and senior guard Whitney Thompson.

“We want to play the best competition. We lost a few early in the season that we were up on teams and it just didn’t go our way, so it was nice to get this win.”

—  Anna Campanelli, Huntley junior guard

The Whips held a 19-to-8 advantage on the free-throw line but shot only 36.8% (7 of 19). Hampshire missed eight free throws in the fourth quarter.

Herzing led Hampshire with 11 points, Thompson had 10 and Chloe Van Horn tossed in seven. Mikala Amegasse and Sophie Oleferchik each added six points.

Hampshire coach Eric Samuelson felt his team let things get away in the first quarter, when Huntley scored the first nine points.

“Similar thing happened against (Prairie Ridge),” Samuelson said. “At the end of the day, it’s got to be on me to make sure that they understand how we come out. We’ve had some battles with (Huntley) in the past where it got chippy. I thought it was a clean, hard-fought game tonight. They got us, and we’ll get another chance at them in a couple of months.”

Adamik came off the bench and made a big impact for the Raiders, scoring all six of her points in the second half. The 5-foot-3 guard drew a key offensive charge against the Whips late in the fourth quarter.

“I knew it was going to be a big game,” Adamik said. “I just locked in from the start. I wanted to be there for my teammates and do my job. A lot of my teammates push me in practice and get me to work harder every day, and that translates to the games.”

“We’re just going to keep pushing it and keep working.”