Girls Basketball: Wheaton South prevails over Naperville Central
BY PHIL BROZYNSKI For Sun-Times Media January 24, 2013 10:28PM
Cierra Stanciel (right) of Naperville Central looks to the hoop as she is guarded by Kelly Langlas of Wheaton Warrenville South. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:25AM
Megan Waldron’s teammates were already having trouble finding the basket, and when Sierra Bisso exited the game with 3:21 remaining in the first half after injuring her right knee, the burden on the Wheaton Warrenville South junior guard seemed overwhelming.
But Waldron met the challenge, and with a little more help from her teammates, led No. 11-ranked Wheaton Warrenville South to a 44-39 victory over No. 16 Naperville Central in the DuPage Valley Conference Thursday in Wheaton.
Waldron scored 26 points, including 14 of her team’s 18 in the first half, and added nine rebounds and five steals as the Tigers improved to 20-3 and 10-0 in the conference.
“We tried, we tried, we really tried stopping Waldron,” Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum said. “She’s just really good.”
After scoring 30 points including eight three-pointers against Hillcrest on Monday, Bisso exited Thursday night’s game without scoring after colliding with teammate Olivia Linebarger.
But Waldron and company found a way to overcome Bisso’s absence.
“That stunk,” Waldron said of Bisso’s injury. “She’s one of our top scorers. After she went out, everyone had to pick up their scoring. At beginning of the year, me and Maggie (Dansdill) and her were the top scorers. Now Maggie’s out and Sierra’s hurt. But we can step it up. We’ve done it all year now.”
Wheaton Warrenville South also picked it up on the defensive end.
After allowing Naperville Central 22 points and three three-pointers in the first half, the visitors managed just 17 points and one basket from beyond the arc in the second.
Meanwhile, Waldron got offensive help from Kelly Langlas (four points), whose short jumper from the lane to beat the third-quarter buzzer gave the Tigers the lead for good at 32-30.
“Kelly’s two baskets were momentum-changers,” Waldron said. “Kelly’s a really smart player. Those were good shots. We just had to pick it up on the offensive end and we all did. We all scored a little. Those are hard teams to beat…the ones where everyone can score.”
The teams that play tough defense are also difficult to beat.
“We’re a team that plays great defense,” Waldron said. “Our coach (Rob Kroehnke) loves defense. He’d rather have us play crappy offense and great, phenomenal defense. Defense is something we really take pride in.”
Victoria Trowbridge led Naperville Central (21-4, 7-3) with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Shannon Ryan added eight points.
Trowbridge’s free throw had the Redhawks within 34-33 with 5:50 remaining in the game.
But WW South’s Melinda Franke answered from the right baseline 25 seconds later, and Langlas’s second basket of the game extended the Tigers’ lead to 38-33.
Waldron pushed the lead to 44-36 with 1:33 remaining, and the Tigers held on despite missing the front end of two bonus opportunities.
“The last time we played them was a far better offensive game for both teams,” Naperville Central coach Nussbaum said.
“For whatever reason, we struggled tonight. I thought there were times we got good shots, but we just didn’t make them and they did not give us a lot of second chances.
“But they play pretty good defense, too,” he added.
“They extend out a little farther than most teams, they’re a little longer than most teams are and it’s hard simulate that in practice. I would say we were far better offensively the last time but they were far better defensively this time.”