Athlete of the Week
Barker was unstoppable for the Trojans during the Lake Zurich Tournament. The junior guard/forward earned first-team all-tournament honors with her impressive performances. Barker scored 29 points and grabbed five rebounds in C-G’s win against Lakes and followed that with 26 points, six rebounds and three steals in a win against Lake Zurich. She also scored 27 points in C-G’s FVC Valley Division-opening win Tuesday against Dundee-Crown.
Adjusting to rules: With officials on the lookout for players using their hands and making contact with opponents, the tightly enforced hand-check calls are forcing many teams to rethink the way they play defense.
One option that has been embraced by many teams is switching from man-to-man to zone defenses. It’s a particularly appealing option for teams with a short bench, such as Prairie Ridge, which has only nine players.
“Zone defense is a good way to stay out of foul trouble,” Prairie Ridge coach Rob Baker said. “You do have to adjust, but zones help that. We can’t handle foul trouble, but we can play some man-to-man.”
Better free throw shooting teams certainly will have an advantage with the increase in hand-check calls. Teams are often getting in the bonus earlier in games because of the calls. In Jacobs’ game last week against Streamwood, officials called 46 fouls with six total players getting whistled for at least four fouls each.
“We’ve got to adjust,” Jacobs coach Joe Benoit said. “We know officials are adjusting, coaches, players – we’re all adjusting. We just have to do a better job of moving our feet.”
Division play begins: Division play gets fully underway this week in the Fox Valley Conference, and only one team enters the conference schedule undefeated.
Coming off winning the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament after going 5-0, Huntley (7-0) opens FVC Valley play Friday at Dundee-Crown.
This week’s top games
Woodstock North at Woodstock
7 p.m. Thursday
The crosstown rivalry is the FVC Fox Division opener for both teams, which are looking to get on track after slow starts to the season.
Crystal Lake Central at Crystal Lake South
3:30 p.m. Saturday
This nonconference crossover game is part of the Day of Hoops, which is raising money for tornado victims in Washington, Ill.
Cary-Grove at Huntley
7 p.m. Monday
Two of the area’s best teams face off in what has become an intense rivalry. This should be a physical game, as Cary-Grove and Huntley are capable of playing standout defense.
– Meghan Montemurro