While both coaches felt their defenses indeed played like it was opening night, at least Metea Valley was happy with the offensive performance it recorded in its season debut.
The Mustangs opened the new girls basketball campaign with a 58-34 defeat of visiting Naperville North on Tuesday night in Aurora. The Mustangs moved the ball well, scored from the perimeter as well as the post and used an 18-7 outburst in the first quarter to take control from the onset.
"Offensively, I think we did (come out strong)," Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas said. "Everyone did a nice job of looking to score. For an opening night we came out strong with good energy and good hustle and we worked hard."
The defensive pressure applied by the Mustangs was there as well, but Kalivas would like to see fewer fouls and a few more defensive rebounds. The Huskies went to the free-throw line 34 times on the night, some of which came from speedy Zoe Swift drives to the basket, but a few too many came after Naperville North grabbed offensive rebounds.
Even so the hosts were never really threatened after Anna Petersen scored 8 of her 11 points in the first quarter and Naperville North never really got on track offensively. The Huskies made just 9 of 22 foul shots in the first half while trailing 31-14 at the break.
"We definitely lost a lot of senior strength last year so to see a lot of players step up and also the addition of Jenny (Voytell) and Nia (Flowers), our transfers, is really great," said Petersen, who had 11 points, 8 rebounds and even ran the point a little for an attack with a nice size advantage. "It shows the depth the team has. It's a team of us and not just one person."
Point guard Bria Walker knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to finish with 12 points, while Flowers, who played at Montini last season, finished with a game-high 16 points to go with 6 rebounds for Metea. Center Lori Obendorf added 8 points and 8 rebounds.
The Huskies, meanwhile, made just 2 of 18 shots from the floor in the first half -- none in the second quarter -- and that coupled with turnovers and missed foul shots spelled doom.
Lauren LoLordo did sink a trio of 3s to lead the Huskies with 13 points, while Swift added 11 points and 3 steals. Forward Kayla Sharples struggled offensively but pulled in a game-high 12 rebounds for Naperville North.
"We knew they were a good team with excellent players, but first and foremost we can't give up that many points in the first quarter. That clearly set the tone," Huskies coach Jacquie Discipio said. "I was surprised to see what we looked like tonight. I don't think we ever got in sync and I don't think we showed the kind of team we are tonight."