Girls Basketball: Wheaton North downs Naperville Central
BY CHRIS PALL For Sun-Times Media January 31, 2013 10:16PM
Updated: March 2, 2013 7:33AM
Propelled by a 19-2 run, the Wheaton North Falcons defeated visiting Naperville Central 64-52 Thursday night in a DuPage Valley matchup.
The Falcons, who improved to 18-6 overall and 10-1 in the conference, forged a 46-29 advantage midway through the third quarter after closing the first half with a 9-0 burst and opening the second half on a 10-2 clip.
Naperville Central (21-6, 7-5) shaved the margin to 58-52 with 2:40 remaining, but that was as close as the Falcons would allow. Mandy Traversa, who scored a game-high 17 points, cut into the lane and deposited a feed from Emily Barry to keep the Redhawks at arm’s length, and Reilly Stewart accounted for the final score with four makes from the charity stripe in the final minute.
“This is one of our biggest rivalries, and for us to come out and give them a punch in the face in that six minutes was amazing,” Traversa said. “Beating them twice is such an accomplishment. We haven’t done that since at least the early (1990s).”
After swapping the lead eight times in the first 12 minutes, the two squads were knotted at 27-27. But the Falcons crashed the boards and tightened the screws defensively. The Falcons put back two offensive rebounds and Traversa buried a three-pointer for a 36-27 halftime edge.
Brooke Schanowski canned a long ball to start the second half before Victoria Trowbridge (team-high 16 points) hit two free throws for the Redhawks. Answering with a bucket in the post by Chrissy Baird (six points, nine rebounds), a triple by Traversa and a layup by Cassidy Graham on a dish from Schanowski, the Falcons extended the lead to 46-27 with 4:20 to play in the third frame.
“They’re pretty relentless the way they come at you, and for us not to play for six minutes...I thought we played pretty good for 26 minutes,” said Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum. “That’s as good as we’ve played in two weeks. We know the scouting report. We were trying to guard them.”
Nussbaum rallied his troops after a timeout at the 4:20 mark, and the Redhawks responded. Emily Kraft (13 points) and Jaime Cuny each drained long balls and Trowbridge added two more makes from the 15-foot stripe before Kelly Thornton (eight points) hit a 14-foot jumper. Kraft cut the deficit to 48-41 with a four-point play after being fouled while sinking a trey.
Barry restored the double-digit lead with a three-pointer to end the third stanza, but Trowbridge scored an old-fashioned three-point play to open the fourth quarter. The Falcons managed to hold off the Redhawks though, as Traversa and Thornton hit big shots.
“Our kids played great team basketball,” said Falcons coach David Eaton. “We’ve focused on defense. We switched in and out of a couple of different defenses. We had a couple of half court traps that took them out of their rhythm where they couldn’t just get into their stuff.”