Meghan Waldron had seen enough, so she decided to do something about it -- in her own quiet way.
After Wheaton Warrenville South made just 7 of 40 first-half shots, the Tigers guard poured in 9 third-quarter points to help her team take control. The host Tigers then took a 58-45 victory from cross-town rival Wheaton North in front of a large crowd on Thursday night.
"That's what Meghan does," said Falcons coach Dave Eaton, looking forward to seeing Waldron play at DePaul next year instead of WW South. "She's obviously one of the best players in the state. Our goal was to keep her under 20 (points). That's a hard thing to do. We kept her to 25, but you know when you're trying to keep a kid under 20 that says a lot about the kid."
"We just wanted to finish the second half. This is our court, this is our home, we wanted to just protect it and finish our shots," said Waldron, who finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
The Falcons (3-4, 1-1 DuPage Valley Conference) were happy with the score tied 17-17 at halftime, but the Tigers (5-1, 1-0) started the third quarter on a 7-0 run that began with a Waldron 3-pointer. The Tigers' lead hit double digits for the first time when Erin Zappia scored to make the score 30-20.
"We shot to the point where we got a nice lead that we could manage the game with," Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke said.
"It was just that little run there at the start of the third, we chased it the rest of the time and couldn't get it back," Eaton said. "It was a good ballgame. I'm happy where our kids played at. ... We played one of the best teams (in the state). I don't think the score really reflects how close it was."
What they started in the third quarter, Waldron and the Tigers continued in the fourth, building the lead as high as 17 points.
"If she wants to, she can take over a game," Kroehnke said of Waldron. "It's as simple as that. I don't care who we're playing. If she wants to take over a game, she can. ... That's the most nonchalant 25 I've ever seen in my life. She scores 25 and you don't know it."
Olivia Linebarger added 14 points for the Tigers.
Kelly Thornton led the Falcons with 18 points, keeping them in the game by scoring their first 13 points of the fourth quarter. Emari Jones and Chrissy Baird each added 9 points.
It was the second consecutive emotional victory for the Tigers, following last week's Schaumburg Thanksgiving Tournament win against Montini. It was a great way for them to start the conference season.
"This is a big win for us," Waldron said. "We're 1-0 in the DVC. We want to win 13 more."
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