Under most circumstances, teams have a hard time matching up well against Naperville Central. On Monday the deck was especially stacked against Waubonsie Valley.
An inexperienced two-win Warriors squad welcomed the talented Redhawks to Aurora Monday night fresh off Naperville Central's heartbreaking loss to Wheaton North on Saturday. The Redhawks (17-3) wasted no time dominating the boards, causing turnovers and storming ahead 35-15 at the half on their way to a 68-35 nonconference road win.
"A game like that can turn into something ugly," Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum said referring to Saturday's key DVC game that slipped away. "It was nice to get back right away and play."
Naperville Central wasn't at its best shooting in the first half, missing all nine 3-point attempts and shooting 15 of 38 from the floor, but Victoria Trowbridge and Laura Dierking controlled the boards and the Redhawks used second and third chances to build a 17-9 lead after one quarter and a 20-point advantage at the break.
"In our game on Saturday, everything did not click," said Dierking, who led all scorers with all 11 of her points in the first half and also had 6 offensive rebounds in the first half. "We wanted to focus on each part of our game for this game and this helped us come back together after that loss."
Naperville Central was focused Monday, especially on the glass, where Dierking and Trowbridge combined for 15 rebounds and the Redhawks held a 19-7 edge on the offensive end.
"I just always try and go for the ball and do whatever I can," said the 5-foot-11 senior forward. "We do our best when everyone rebounds and we have second and third shots. We feel more in control."
Waubonsie Valley coach Dave Owles was frustrated that the Redhawks seemed to want those rebounds a little more in the first half.
"At the half we were frustrated," he said. "We were down 20 not because they outexecuted us but because they outworked us. They played Saturday and I think they were probably a little ticked off. We bared the brunt of it tonight."
The Warriors, who were led by 7 points apiece from Morgan Grastorf and Elexus Brownlee, did a better job on the boards in the second half but that's when the visitors used defense and some 3-pointers to stay in command.
Naperville Central's Cierra Stanciel had three baskets in the third quarter including a pair of steals that she converted into back-to-back layups on her way to a game high 14 points and 5 steals. Emily Kraft and Madison O'Flynn each added a pair of 3-pointers off the bench for the Redhawks, who emptied their bench in the second half but kept up scoring points in bunches.
"In the first half they outworked us and in the second half they made their shots," Owles said of the Redhawks. "They're a good team. They're talented in the backcourt and the frontcourt."