A minor adjustment defensively and a strong dose of Meghan Waldron was all Wheaton Warrenville South need to capture another regional championship.
The Tigers scored a 60-46 win against York to win the Class 4A WW South regional championship Thursday night.
"None of them are going to be easy at this stage," said WW South coach Rob Kroehnke, whose team held a 27-25 lead at halftime.
A defensive adjustment Kroehnke made at intermission helped turn the tide in the Tigers' direction. WW South, which primarily played man-to-man defense in the first half, came out in a zone in the second half and it helped slow the Dukes.
"The zone put us in better position," Kroehnke said. "It starts with defense, if you play good defense, you win championships. It's that simple. I knew the offense would come around and our defense just had to keep us in the game."
York coach John Constable said that WW South's zone defense was a contributing factor to his team's demise.
"The zone frustrated us, but our shots weren't falling either," Constable said. "We got some really good looks and we just didn't knock them down. We didn't shoot the ball well. I have to give credit to WW South, their defense is really good."
The Tigers (27-3) held a 19-10 edge after the first quarter, but the Dukes (17-12) battled back thanks to the strong play from AnnaBell Lansdowne and the sharpshooting of Jenny Coffin, who made five 3-pointers for 15 points. A pair Lansdowne free throws with 15.4 seconds left in the second quarter pulled York even at 25 before Waldron scored just before the end of the half. Lansdowne finished with 18 points.
Waldron, who finished with a game-high 27 points, asserted herself more as a distributor in the third quarter as she helped her teammates get more involved.
"I love to create," said Waldron, who has committed to DePaul. "I know my teammates can finish and I have to get the ball to them. I think we are our best when I am driving and creating for my teammates. I love both scoring and passing. I think it is all fun."
The Tigers pushed ahead to 38-29, but consecutive 3-pointers by Lansdowne and Coffin had York within 38-35 in the closing minutes of the third quarter, but WW South closed the period by scoring six straight, and the Tigers added the first five points of the fourth quarter to cap an 11-0 run, which opened a 49-35 lead.
"We didn't stop (Waldron)," Constable said. "She is an obvious Division I player, and she was making Division I plays."
WW South, the top seed, advances to meet Geneva at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the first semifinal of the Bartlett sectional.