The Naperville Central girls basketball knows it's not a big team and must rely on other strengths to succeed.
Those strengths were more than evident Thursday night in its 80-64 win over visiting Lake Park that opened the DuPage Valley Conference schedule for both teams.
After trailing 17-13 after the opening quarter, the Redhawks (2-4, 1-0) exploded for 35 points in the second period for a 48-34 advantage at halftime, and the Lancers (2-4, 0-1) couldn't seriously threaten in the second half.
In the key second quarter, the Redhawks hit 7 of 11 shots from 3-point range and finished with 12 for the game. Hannah Swarm made a game-high 6 and finished with a game-high 18 points. Also finishing with 18 was teammate Lisa Tassi, who sank four 3-pointers.
Shannon Ryan scored 13 points, Haley Minick had 10 and Kotryna Staputyte added 10 to round out the Redhawks' scoring sheet led by five players in double digits. Staputyte also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
"It was a real confidence booster," Swarm said of the second quarter. "It was motivating to see a lot of different people hit 3s, which shows we have a balanced offense.
"In practice we work on our outside shots, and we used our speed in transition to get the down the court as fast as possible."
What made Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum happy was his team's shot selection.
"I was pleased with how we worked the ball around. The 3s were taking, we had wide-open looks at," he said.
Lake Park was strong from 3-point range, finishing with 7 baskets. Emily Duckhorn led the Lancers with 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Jakeiya Morgan came off the bench to score 16 points and Erica Fant had 10.
Lancers coach Brian Rupp said there wasn't much more his team could do offensively against the Redhawks and was pleased to score 64 points.
"I don't think we have ever run into as hot a 3-point shooting team as we did tonight. Once we fell behind, it was hard to catch our breath. Other than our defensive effort, I don't know what else we could have done," he said.
Naperville Central hits the road Saturday to take on West Aurora. Lake Park jumps back into action at home Tuesday against Glenbard East.