One of the main goals of the South Elgin girls basketball team this season is to win the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division championship, something the program has never done.
The Storm got a good start on that endeavor Friday night when it rolled to a 65-28 win over visiting Waubonsie Valley in the division opener for both teams.
"We're happy to get a win to start conference play," said South Elgin coach Tim Prendergast. "One of our goals this year is to win conference and this gets us off to a good start. We're looking forward to playing Bartlett and Metea Valley next week."
Senior Kennede Miller led the balanced Storm scoring with 11 points. She also hauled in 6 rebounds as South Elgin (4-3, 1-0) held a 48-28 advantage on the glass, including collecting 17 offensive rebounds.
"They played offense until they scored," said Warriors' coach David Owles, whose team is still without its two tallest players, 6-foot junior Taylor Ameri and 5-11 sophomore Abby Phillips due to injury.
"We gave up way too many offensive rebounds. It's too hard to stop a team when you give them 3-4 chances and that's been our problem all season. But we can't make excuses about players being out. Others have to step up."
South Elgin led just 12-7 after one quarter but then blitzed the Warriors 25-8 in the second quarter to take a 37-15 halftime lead. Waubonsie (0-7, 0-1) would get no closer in the second half and South Elgin's biggest lead was the final score.
Prendergast played his bench freely in the second half and was able to see some positives, especially from 5-10 sophomore Bridgette Williams, who finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds, her first varsity double-double.
"We had good balance again," Prendergast said. "Looking at our team I feel we go 10 deep. We've got girls who can play."
Anna Tracy added 10 points for the Storm, Cara Fahey had 9 and Nadia Yang 8. The Storm shot 25 of 64 for the night and only had 11 turnovers.
The win was timely, especially after a tough UEC crossover loss to Geneva on Tuesday.
"That was definitely a tough loss so our goal was to bounce back and come out strong," said Miller. "We zoned in on defense tonight and we just needed to slow down on offense. We like to run the floor but we have to slow down sometimes."
Senior Andrea Colin led the Warriors with 12 points.
"There wasn't a lot of positive out there tonight," said Owles. "They're good, and we weren't tonight."