FULTON, Ill. — Developing a game plan against Fulton can be an exercise in futility for opposing boys basketball coaches.
The Steamers’ three shooting threats from the outside force foes into difficult decisions.
Amboy coach Luke Payne decided to have the Clippers focus on stopping the Steamers’ top two scorers, Zach Barber and Matt Dail, on Tuesday when the teams met on Stan Borgman Court. With the defense playing off him, Kyle Huebner stepped up for Fulton, leading the Steamers to a 56-38 victory.
“For our opponents, it has to be scary to have three lethal guys to try to shut down,” Barber said.
“We wanted to make sure Dail and Barber didn’t hurt us, and Huebner got hot early,” Payne said. “We kind of knew about him. We were hoping he’d have an off night, but he kind of put the team on his back.”
After missing his first attempt, Huebner dropped in back-to-back 3-pointers on Fulton’s next two possessions for a 6-0 lead just 1 minute, 21 seconds into the game. He was just getting started.
Huebner, a 6-foot-1 junior, scored Fulton’s first 12 points — all on 3-pointers — and scored all 18 of his points in the opening half as the Steamers never trailed.
“They’re the second or third team that tried a triangle-and-two (defense), and Hubie made them pay,” Fulton coach RJ Coffey said.
“I love it,” Huebner said of the defensive scheme. “We’ve got Zach and Matt to hit all those threes, so if they dare me, I’m going to hit it. They kept giving it (an open shot) to me, so I’m going to take them.
“It felt good starting off like that. I knew I had to come out and produce. But, it wasn’t just me; it was the whole team. We played really well as a team tonight.”