The Huron boys’ basketball team bounced back from a tough loss with a tough victory on Friday as the River Rats now turn their attention to Friday’s showdown with city-rival Skyline.
Friday’s 61-58 victory over Bedford followed Tuesday’s 50-48 loss to Chelsea and completed a four games in seven days stretch for the River Rats where they went 3-1 and found time to rest senior Avery Lewis’ sprained ankle.
Huron is gearing up for Friday’s showdown with Skyline but also starting to focus on the stretch run and the playoffs, which will be here in the not too distant future. The River Rats want to have their game in order, their defense at full speed and their key players healthy, rested and ready to roll.
Huron rolled back into the win column with a nice win Friday over the Kicking Mules. But it wasn’t easy.
“We had some guys get into foul trouble, Avery again didn’t play so we were limited in what we could do,” Shunnar said. “We really want Avery to get back to 100 percent and we don’t play Tuesday this week so that’s two weeks of rest for that ankle before Skyline on Friday.”
The Bedford game was tied at 58-58 in the final seconds.
“We called a time out with 12 seconds to go and Lewis scored a layup with 3 seconds to go,” Shunnar said. “He came down the lane, had the ball in his right hand and scored and then hit a free throw.”
Willis, the talented senior point guard, played the whole game and scored 14 points in the first half and six in the second half, including the final three points of the game.
“He was really tired and missed some shots in the second half he usually makes because he was so tired from playing all those minutes, not only in this game but the three previous games,” Shunnar said. “But he really battled and made the shot when we needed it the most.”
Huron led Chelsea 33-17 at halftime but simply ran out of gas in the second half.
“Chelsea did a great job and made a nice comeback and we don’t make excuses but it was our third game in five days following our trip to Chicago,” Shunnar said. “We were without Avery (Lewis) and really only had five guys to rotate so we got a little tired and Chelsea got us at the end.”
Willis led the way for the River Rats, scoring a team-high 27 points. “He was really everything for us in that game,” Shunnar said. “He was doing it all at both ends of the floor.”
Senior Fred Ezenyilimba had 13 points and freshman Devin Womack scored 11 in the win. Senior LJ Dewolf scored nine points for the second straight game and has been playing “great defensively” for the River Rats.
Shunnar said he’s proud of the way his entire team played and handled the busy stretch in the schedule and hopes the extra work will pay off in the end.
“They really competed hard and really showed me something,” he said.