Girls basketball: Huntley pushes past Lake Forest to advance to Komaromy Classic semifinals

Raiders senior guard Sammi Campanelli scores 10 of game-high 19 points in 4th quarter, adds 5 steals

Sammi Campanelli, Huntley

CARPENTERSVILLE – Struggling to overtake Lake Forest, Huntley’s Ava McFadden, Anna Campanelli and Ashlyn Horton each made key 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to stay close with the Scouts.

From there, Sammi Campanelli and a disruptive Red Raiders’ defense did the rest.

The senior guard twice put her team in the lead down the stretch, scoring 10 of her game-high 19 points in the last 4:30 and adding five steals to lead the Raiders to a 52-48 victory over Lake Forest on Tuesday at Dundee-Crown’s Komaromy Classic.

Huntley (14-1) plays Maine South – a 59-38 winner against Hampshire – in the championship bracket semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Lake Forest and Hampshire meet at 3:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.

Trailing 45-42 with 3:17 to go in the fourth quarter, the Raiders held the Scouts (12-4) without a field goal until a last-second 3 from Rachel Kaus, who scored a team-high 16 points and had nine rebounds. Sammi Campanelli cut the lead to 45-44 with two free throws and put her team ahead 46-44 with a drive and score with 2:30 remaining.

Huntley went to a full-court press near the end of the third quarter, something Raiders coach Steve Raethz felt was key in the victory.

Huntley finished with 10 steals, led by Sammi Campanelli with five and Jessie Ozzauto with two.

“Our backs were up against it, and this team has done this before,” Raethz said. “They’ve been in similar situations when they have to fight back, and I’m so proud of their effort. Our players were really disruptive on the defensive end. Credit our girls for playing with a ton of resiliency and not giving in.”

Sammi Campanelli said the full-court press was necessary to shake things up.

“We just tried to speed them up and get them out of the comfort zone, change the pace of the game,” said Campanelli, a Lewis commit. “I think that helped us tremendously.”

Raethz said Sammi Campanelli’s offense has picked up in recent weeks. She also led the Raiders with 14 points in a tournament-opening win over Buffalo Grove on Monday. Campanelli drilled 9 of 10 free throws against Lake Forest, going 7 of 8 in the fourth quarter.

“Defensively, she sets a tone for us,” Raethz said. “Offensively, she had some great takes to the basket and finished. Just made some big shots for us when we really needed them. She’s been really coming on, and it’s great to see. She’s a big piece to what we do.”

Anna Campanelli was proud of her big sister’s effort.

“She has struggled with confidence lately, so I’m glad to see her be able to pick that up, especially in big games like these,” Anna Campanelli said. “I’m just really proud of her for doing that for our team and helping us win.”

Ozzauto added 10 points and five rebounds for Huntley. Anna Campanelli had nine points and four assists, while Horton chipped in five points and five rebounds.

Mallory Winters made a big 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter that tied the game at 29-all until the Scouts grabbed the lead back on a free throw from Kaus and a 3 from Aliya Maldonado.

Bella Ranallo had 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and five assists for Lake Forest. Sarah Constantine added nine points.

Huntley enters Wednesday’s semifinal against Maine South on an eight-game winning streak. The Raiders feel ready and confident for any team they face.

“We work really hard in practice to prepare for these types of games,” Anna Campanelli said. “It’s a grind having all these games back-to-back, but our coaches do a really good job of watching film and keeping us prepared.”