Boys basketball: Dundee-Crown’s Zach Randl and Kali Freeman lead Home to all-star victory

Dundee-Crown’s Zach Randl shoots the ball over Alden-Hebron’s Nolan Vanderstappen during the boy’s game of McHenry County Area All-Star Basketball Extravaganza on Sunday, April 14, 2024, at Alden-Hebron’s Tigard Gymnasium in Hebron.

HEBRON – Dundee-Crown guard Zach Randl discussed what was happening on the floor with his Home teammates while he waited his turn in the second half.

“It was a close game and when we were on the bench, we were like, ‘We’re going up this half,’ “Randl said. “We’re putting the foot on the gas. It was fun.”

First, it was Randl’s D-C teammate Kali Freeman giving the Home team a lift, then Randl turned scorching hot, hitting five consecutive shots, as Home went on for a 105-79 victory in the boys game at the McHenry County Area All-Star Basketball Extravaganza on Sunday at Alden-Hebron’s Tigard Gymnasium.

Randl finished 7-of-8 shooting (4 of 5 on 3-pointers) and with a team-high 18 points and he was was selected as the game’s MVP.

Thanks to a run sparked by A-H’s Nolan Vanderstappen and Ben Vole, who combined for 13 early second-half points, the Away built a 61-55 lead. Freeman hit a 3, had a dunk and two free throws to put Home ahead 70-68.

Randl hit two 3s and Johnsburg’s Ben Person and Huntley’s Ethan Blackmore each hit one as Home went on a 22-3 run.

“It took us a while to find a rhythm,” said Woodstock coach Ryan Starnes, who coached the Home team. “Everybody wants to be unselfish in these games and sometimes the best thing you can do is attack, and then create for somebody else. Zach and Kali really got us going in the second half.”

Randl hit three 3s during that stretch.

“I was just having a lot of fun, just getting the ball and shooting it,” said Randl, who will play quarterback at NCAA Division III Wartburg (Iowa) College next year. “You have a lot more freedom in a game like that compared to a real game. I had a lot of fun and shot the ball well.”

Freeman and Jacobs’ Treval Howard each scored 14 points, and Woodstock’s Spencer Cullum, who won the dunk contest, had 13.

Freeman finished with two 3s and two dunks, including a late alley-oop from his AAU teammate, Huntley’s Bryce Walker.

“Me and Bryce go way back, we already knew when we came off the bench,” Freeman said. “He said, ‘I’m going go to lob it to you.’ The first time I wasn’t ready, but the second time I was like, ‘Yeah, I got this one.’

“That’s my boy (Randl). It was a good game, we had a lot of chemistry going on out there.”

Burlington Central’s Myles Lowe hit his first five shots, four for 3s, and led the Away team with 18 points. Cary-Grove’s Jake Hornok and Woodstock North’s Trevor Mark each scored nine.

Hampshire coach Mike Featherly, who coached in the girls game twice, enjoyed one more game with Nick Louis, who won the 3-point contest, and Adrien Ugochukwu.

“They’re athletic, especially when they turned up the defense a little bit, it made a difference,” Featherly said. “It was a lot of fun. Zach got hot. I’m glad it was the all-star game and not in the regular season.

“It’s a great experience for the kids. It was nice having Nick and Ugo one more time as coach. And the fun part is meeting the kids you’ve played against the last two years.”

Home 105, Away 79
AWAY (79)
Louis 2 0-0 6, Ugochukwu 2 3-3 7, Hornok 3 2-2 9, Todd 0 0-0 0, Rohde 2 0-0 4, Lowe 7 0-2 18, Mark 3 0-0 9, Meyer 2 0-0 6, Ward 1 0-0 2, Blaksley 1 0-0 2, Vanderstappen 3 1-2 8, Vole 3 0-0 8. Totals: 29 6-10 79.
HOME (105)
VIsnjevac 2 0-0 4, Howard 6 0-0 14, Cullum 6 0-0 13, Person 2 1-1 6, Freeman 5 2-4 14, Randl 7 0-0 18, Perkins 2 0-0 4, Segarra 3 0-0 7, Crosby 1 0-0 3, Walker 3 0-1 7, Blackmore 3 0-0 9, Stone 3 0-0 6, Patterson 0 0-0 0, Fessler 1 0-0 2, Dacy 0 0-0 0, Kotecki 0 0-0 0. Totals: 43 3-6 105.
Halftime: Home 44, Away 41. 3-point goals: Away 15 (Lowe 4, Mark 3, Meyer 2, Vole 2, Louis 2, Hornok, Vanderstappen), Home 16 (Randl 4, Blackmore 3, Howard 2, Freeman 2, Cullum, Segarra, Walker, Person, Crosby). Rebounds: Away 50 (Vole 7), Home 61 (Perkins 11).
MVP: Zach Randl (Dundee-Crown). Dunk contest winner: Spencer Cullum (Woodstock). 3-point contest winner: Nick Louis (Hampshire)11; Hayden Stone (McHenry) 10; Ben Person, (Johnsburg) 10. King/Queen of the Hill results: Louis 9, Whitney Thompson (Hampshire) 6.