Wheaton Warrenville South point guard Meghan Waldron has eased her way into playing the part of the veteran.
She led the Tigers with 17 points and helped control the offensive tempo during a 64-32 DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball victory at West Chicago on Saturday afternoon.
Waldron, competing on the varsity level for the third straight year, and the Tigers are off to a 5-2 start (2-0 DVC) as the junior has gotten used to being one of the team leaders during the early part of the season.
"All my life I've always played up a level," Waldron said. "Maggie (Dansdill) got pulled up to varsity with me as a freshman as well. It's different now because you have to be the one to set the example."
The Tigers jumped out to a 22-10 first-quarter lead as Waldron scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in those first eight minutes.
A 12-0 first-quarter run was fueled by a strong transition game with the Tigers forcing turnovers, pulling down defensive rebounds and converting fastbreak opportunities.
Sierra Bisso had 11 of her 13 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers. The 12-0 run started with Bisso's first 3 of the day.
"Once we get out in transition, it makes things a lot easier," Wheaton Warrenville South coach Rob Kroehnke said. "In the first half especially we got some baskets off of transition, which really helped.
"It starts with defensive rebounding. If we can continue to get those defensive boards, we feel we're fast enough to get out in transition. If you're constantly taking the ball out of the net every time, you're not going to be beating people down the floor."
Bisso's final 3-pointer of the day came from the left baseline and gave the Tigers a 40-18 halftime lead.
Wheaton Warrenville South extended its 22-point halftime lead to 32 by the end of the third quarter. Waldron began the second half with two straight layups off the fastbreak and also fed teammate Kelly Langlas on a pair of short jumpers.
The Wildcats (1-6, 0-2) were held to no field goals the entire third quarter and had just eight the entire game.
Laura Panicali led West Chicago with 12 points.
"West Chicago works really hard. Coach (Kim) Wallner does a great job with the team every year," Kroehnke said. "This is the last time we're going to be in this gym for the DVC, so we wanted to leave on a good note."