The Metea Valley girls basketball team showed there are good starts to games and then there are great starts in its 50-27 win over host Waubonsie Valley on Saturday afternoon.
It was the Mustangs' first win against their District 204 rival.
Just 1:48 into the game after Waubonise called a timeout to cool the momentum, the Mustangs (9-3, 4-1 Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division) led 11-2 on 5-of-5 shooting from the field.
They finished 12 of 18 for the quarter and led 27-10 at the end of it. The Mustangs cooled off after that and the Warriors played better, but Metea Valley's grip on the game never weakened.
"We were 0-5 since my sophomore year. We wanted to get this one," said Metea Valley senior Lori Obendorf, who with Bria Walker shared game-high scoring honors with 10 points each. "This (success this season) feels great. We came out strong. We have new players and we've worked them into our lineup."
Metea coach Kris Kalivas said the focus of this week's practice before Friday night's win at St. Charles East and Saturday's contest was defense.
"We've been working this week on a full-court trap. We tried it out and it worked well," she said.
The Mustangs began the season 4-0 before losses to Benet, Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley. Since then Metea has rolled off four straight wins and Kalivas sees her team taking a step forward.
"I've seen improvement. We got tested at South Elgin and last night at St. Charles East. We're growing. We're slow at some points, but we're growing," she said.
Nia Flowers put through 9 points for the Mustangs and Kellee Clay came off the bench for 8.
Metea plays host to Bartlett on Thursday, the last conference game of 2012 before heading to the Oswego East Holiday Tournament. Kalivas said experience has been the biggest factor in what the Mustangs have achieved so far.
"It's age. We have three seniors that have been here for three years, Lori Obendorf, Bria Walker and Anna Petersen. The first varsity season we got beat bad a lot, the second year we did better and there's now," she said.
Waubonsie (0-11, 0-5) trailed Metea just 10-9 in scoring over the second and third quarters and held the Mustangs to just two points during the second quarter. The Warriors' offense was led by Aniya Lightford coming off the bench for 8 points.
Coach Dave Owles said the team is focusing on the positives during games to try and build momentum.
"Obviously, we have a lot of work to do. They're (Metea) a good team. They're bigger and faster than us and they blitzed us in the first quarter," he said. "Last night against East Aurora was a step back. We were awful. Today was better against a good team."
He said the team is focusing on trying to get a win this Friday at Lake Park, the last conference game of the year for the Warriors, before heading to the Wheaton North tournament after Christmas.