It's not easy to keep up with Naperville North senior Derek Westman.
"He's a monster, and today he stayed out of foul trouble. He's the heart of our team, he's the heart and soul," Huskies coach Jeff Powers said. "When he goes and does that it's hard because he's such a physical player, great rebounding, and he was under control today, which made him awful hard to guard."
Friday night in Naperville, Westman and the Huskies raced past Wheaton North 62-41 in the teams' DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball opener.
Westman was credited with 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, 5 each on the offensive and defensive backboards, plus 3 assists.
"He wants to play so hard," Powers added. "I've never known a kid that plays as hard as he does. Just slow down just a pinch, and he promised me tonight he was going to slow down just a pinch. So he was only going 100 mph instead of 110."
With Westman his usual manic self but playing under control, Naperville North (3-2, 1-0) jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first quarter before the Falcons (1-1, 0-1) cut it to 14-12. But the Falcons couldn't stay with Westman and Co. for long. They were outscored 17-9 in the second quarter, 21-9 in the third.
"We got outplayed from the beginning," said first-year Falcons coach Dave Brackmann, who wasn't pleased with his team's defense. "We've got a lot of work to do going forward. Naperville North's a really good team, and we're not there yet. We hope to be there. With time I'm sure we'll keep getting better. That's our goal, to keep getting better every week. We need more time, obviously."
A lot of the Huskies' points came off the fastbreak.
"That was an emphasis this week in our practice was to push the ball up, get it to the next guy instead of dribble, dribble, dribble," Powers said. "Our kids did a good job of pushing it up and seeing the next guy. With a young team, with all those kids we lost last year, a young team learning their roles and what works, it just took them a little time."
Junior guard Anthony Rehayem also had a big night for the Huskies, scoring 21.
"He's going to be really, really good," Powers said. "He's had a 25-point game and a 20-point game now. If we find him, and we ran a couple of specials for him to get him the ball on the wing. Because he can shoot the 3 and because he has such a quick first step, he's a tough cover."