• Bears trade up, draft Georgia LB Leonard Floyd
  • Division leaders Barrington, Elk Grove score MSL wins
  • Fillies find way to top Evanston
  • Latimer nets Barrington record with 11 goals
  • Conant wins with pulse-pounding comeback
  • Moore’s goals lift Antioch past Lakes
  • Boys tennis: Wauconda, Lake Zurich and Grayslake Central prevail
  • Cardinals take DT Nkemdiche with 29th pick in draft
  • Vernon Hills edges out Lakes
  • Oshie has hat trick, Capitals beat Penguins 4-3 in overtime
  • Naperville North blanks Geneva
  • State Sen. Bush: Rauner delaying consolidation
  • Denver Broncos select QB Paxton Lynch in 1st round
  • Glenbard West threats unfounded, officials say
  • Panthers take DT Vernon Butler from La. Tech with 30th pick
  • Lake Zurich ties up Libertyville in muddled NSC Lake race
  • QBs Goff and Wentz soar, OT Tunsil takes bizarre tumble
  • Watch the transit of Mercury across the sun at Batavia library May 9
  • Japan abandons costly X-ray satellite lost in space
  • Vikings draft Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell
  • De La Rosa strikes out 10, Diamondbacks beat Cardinals 3-0
  • Girls soccer: Kaneland racks up another shutout
  • Images: The 2016 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears select linebacker Leonard Floyd
  • Guercio hits No. 8 as Lake Zurich rolls
  • South Elgin’s Gomez snuffs out West Aurora rally
  • Bus catches fire on Illinois highway, delaying field trip
  • Geneva’s Owens takes milestone win in stride
  • Owens steps up for Huntley in win over Cary-Grove
  • Chiefs trade first-round pick to San Francisco
  • Antioch’s Coleman having fun keeping the focus on high school
  • Braves end 8-game slide, beat Red Sox 5-3 behind Markakis
  • UK company fined for misleading Australians over painkillers
  • Garcia’s grit helps Mundelein hang on
  • Hawks overwhelm Celtics, move to 2nd round with 104-92 win
  • Hacked: After bizarre video Tunsil's NFL draft stock drops
  • Steelers take Miami cornerback Artie Burns with 25th pick
  • Neville no-hits Metea
  • Rex Ryan's Clemson connection leads to Bills drafting Lawson
  • Texans trade up to get WR Will Fuller with 21st pick
  • Proposed rule would delay questions about criminal history
  • Stop by Mother’s Day sale by St. Hugh of Lincoln R.E.L.I.C.S.
  • Ex-Montana Sen. Conrad Burns dies; influenced energy policy
  • The Latest: 5 Ohio State players selected in 1st round
  • Packers take UCLA DT Kenny Clark in 1st round of draft
  • Stork pitches Elgin past Streamwood
  • White Sox get thumped by Orioles to end 6-game streak
  • McHenry County Drug Court to welcome 10 new graduates at May 10 ceremony
  • Mrzlak walk off grand slam lifts Jacobs to win
  • Jets select Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee at No. 20
  • Laremy Tunsil's slide in draft ends when Dolphins pick him
  • CacheTime=0> Willowbrook has something to talk about
    Girls
    2015-'16 Season Coverage
    Girls
    Article updated: 11/24/2012 4:43 PM
    Comment More

    Subject Line (article title)

    Willowbrook has something to talk about
     

    Send to (required)

    E-mail

    Send from (required)

    E-mail
    Name

    Message (optional)

    Success - Article sent! Click to close
    Willowbrook has something to talk about
    • Aly Germanos of St. Francis and Molly Krawczykowski of Willowbrook fight for the ball. This took place during the St. Francis at Willowbrook 19th Annual Willowbrook Lady Warriors Thanksgiving Invite Thursday.

      Purchase Photo | Aly Germanos of St. Francis and Molly Krawczykowski of Willowbrook fight for the ball. This took place during the St. Francis at Willowbrook 19th Annual Willowbrook Lady Warriors Thanksgiving Invite Thursday. Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

     

    When the words Willowbrook and girls basketball are mentioned in the same sentence, what first comes to mind?

    Alas, usually not the Warriors.

    Story Continues Below

    For 20-plus years Willowbrook High School has been an Illinois girls basketball mecca for one weekend in January as host of the McDonald's Shootout. Other than that it's hardly a hoops hotbed.

    That might change this season.

    With four starters returning off a 15-15 team, this could be Willowbrook's best team in almost two decades. Terry Harrell, entering his fourth year as coach, thinks so.

    "This is a good enough team to advance in the playoffs," Harrell said, "hopefully deep."

    That news is like water in the desert for a girls basketball program -- OK, let's take it a step further, an athletic program -- parched for success.

    It seems like ages, but 20 years ago Andrea Miller was a Daily Herald All-Area Captain at Willowbrook. Following her were four straight regional championships from 1993-96.

    Since then, nothing. No regional titles since 1996. Zero playoff wins since the 2007-08 season. Other than bowling and badminton, there hasn't been a regional crown in a girls team sport since the 1990s. Willowbrook did get a nice little taste of athletic success this fall, when its football team went from 0-9 to a playoff berth.

    Harrell has been in the girls basketball program since 2005, putting up a 71-41 record at the varsity, sophomore and freshman levels.

    The big guy always seems to have a smile on his face, but behind that is a man who means business and knows a thing or two about winning.

    He was a three-sport standout at Beloit Memorial High School, a member of two Wisconsin state runner-up basketball teams and a championship track team. From there he lettered three times in football at Northwestern, starting for two years before graduating in 1983. Now he's the coach of the West Suburban Sharks AAU program.

    Willowbrook's girls basketball team made some nice strides last year.

    A .500 record doesn't sound like much to some programs, but it doubled the win total from the 2010-2011 season. A win over Proviso East opened eyes.

    With guards Colleen and Molly Krawczykowski and Angela Bruno and Anita Sterling back aboard, the Warriors went 35-2 over the summer.

    "We beat everybody," Harrell said. "We beat Geneva."

    Harrell's group starts with those guards, of which he says, "I have three guards that can play with anybody."

    He is pretty emphatic that Bruno, in particular, is a player who deserves more attention.

    "To be honest, I never see Bruno's name," Harrell said. "They name the best girls in our conference and I never see Bruno. They name the top girls in the county and I never see Bruno's name, ever. And whenever we play somebody I always put Bruno on their toughest player and she shuts them down. Basketball is more than scoring points, and she does more. She handles the ball under pressure, gets us into our offense, plays defense.

    "When she has to score for us she does, but she usually doesn't because we have other girls who can score. She is a complete guard. Some D-III college is going to get a D-I or D-II kid and she's going to eat up those D-III kids."

    Further boosting Harrell's confidence is improved depth. Melissa Rader comes off the bench with energy and rebounds, and Olivia Domin, said Harrell, "has been a beast" the first few games and is a dead-eye shooter.

    What Willowbrook does not have, Harrell is quick to concede, is a big post player.

    "We have to make up for it at other end," he said.

    Wednesday night's matchup with a good Plainfield East team proved that out. The Warriors won't overpower anybody, but they can win with good, heady guard play and good shooting.

    Harrell is daring his kids to dream big, to not concede anything or to anyone.

    Who knows, when it's all said and done folks may be talking basketball in Villa Park well past one weekend in January.

    jwelge@dailyherald.com

    Follow Josh on Twitter @jwelge96

    Get great articles like this sent to your inbox!

    No Thanks
    Comments ()
    Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    page v1.3