Glenbard East made Wheaton Warrenville South do something it didn't want to do Thursday night.
Forced to exert itself on defense, the Tigers responded with a 51-31 DuPage Valley Conference victory in Wheaton.
Most girls basketball teams play a zone to rest on defense, but WW South isn't most teams. The Tigers (15-3, 6-0) started in a man-to-man Thursday, hoping to give their injury-riddled squad a break between a tough loss at Neuqua Valley on Tuesday and Saturday's game at DVC co-leader Wheaton North.
"We almost really didn't even want to even go to the trap," said Tigers assistant coach Shelley Thompson, subbing for the injured Rob Kroehnke. "But we needed it. You've got to jump-start somewhere. If things aren't working, you've got to take care of today and not worry about things down the road. You've got to take care of a win."
Glenbard East (2-14, 0-6) jumped out to a 6-0 lead, with Rachael Leifheit scoring 5 of those Rams points. That forced the Tigers out of their man-to-man defense and back to their usual 1-3-1 zone trap, an active defense that forces plenty of turnovers and gets the Tigers offense started. Still, the Rams held a 10-8 lead after a first quarter Rams coach Don Finnie enjoyed.
"I just wanted my kids to play hard, which they did do," Finnie said. "They just didn't do some things. We missed some free throws and some layups, otherwise we would have been a little bit closer, but right now they're a little bit better than we are."
WW South bounced back with an 11-0 run that ended with 3:40 left in the second period on a Sammie Symonds basket. By halftime the Tigers led 26-17 after a second quarter in which Tigers junior Meghan Waldron scored 8 of her game-best 14 points.
The Tigers built the lead to 21 points early in the fourth quarter on a Melinda Franke putback. Franke just missed a double-double, finishing with 9 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Olivia Linebarger added 10 points for the Tigers.
Junior Kelly Eberle scored 8 points and sophomore Allison Hansen 7 to lead the Rams.