Boys hoops insider: Hampshire's Bridges player of week

Athlete of the Week

Matt Bridges

Hampshire, Junior

Bridges scored 74 points in three games as the Whip-Purs went 2-1 for the week with a a pair of Fox Valley Conference Fox Division victories.

The 6-foot-2 forward scored 21 in Hampshire’s 57-46 victory over Johnsburg on Tuesday. He followed that with 26 points in a 69-62 loss to South Elgin on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Bridges had another big game with 25 points in the Whips’ 72-59 win against Woodstock North.

Noteworthy

Not so fast: Huntley could have sealed its fourth consecutive Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title with a couple of wins last week, but losses at Cary-Grove and Prairie Ridge put C-G and Jacobs back in contention again.

Huntley (7-2 FVC Valley) leads C-G (7-3) by one-half game and Jacobs (6-3) by one.

The Red Raiders had forged their lead in the Valley with their usual tough man-to-man defense and being the most consistent team in the division. Amanze Egekeze, Huntley’s 6-foot-8 senior, has a chance to be the first boys player in FVC history to play on four conference or division champions.

Jacobs plays at C-G Tuesday, so the loser will have a tough time catching Huntley, which has three remaining games. The Raiders still have a trip to Jacobs Friday, where they could wrap up the title. Or, they could find themselves in some sort of a tie.

Looking ahead: Marian Central played one of its best games of the season to dump St. Edward, 60-44, Friday night, displaying the kind of energy the Hurricanes hope to sustain into the postseason.

The Class 3A Woodstock Regional – with Marian, Marengo, Hampshire, Harvard, Woodstock and Woodstock North – has only one team currently with a winning record, Marengo at 15-10. Marian, like the others there, feels that is a winnable regional.

The Hurricanes have shown some flashes of playing good basektball, particularly when they start like they did against the Green Wave.

“If we compete like that [Friday] who knows what will happen?,” Hurricanes coach Curtis Price said. “We have to make sure we bring this intensity every time we come out. Bring this level of aggressiveness.”

This Week’s Top Games

Jacobs vs. Cary-Grove

7 p.m. Tuesday, at Elroy Fitzgerald Gymnasium

• Jacobs (6-3) is one game behind FVC Valley-leading Huntley with three remaining games, while C-G (7-3) in one-half back with two games, so this game is crucial to both.

Huntley vs. Jacobs

7 p.m. Friday, at the Eagles’ Nest

• Huntley needs two wins this week to clinch a share of its fourth straight FVC Valley championship. If Jacobs wins on Tuesday (and Huntley beats McHenry), the Golden Eagles will be playing for a tie in the division. If Jacobs loses, Huntley still needs a win to stay ahead of C-G.

Marengo vs. Richmond-Burton

7 p.m. Friday, at Lou Ramirez Gymnasium

• Marengo has played well in the past few weeks and R-B is leading the Big Northern Conference East Division by a game.