Wheaton Warrenville South basketball forward Melinda Franke just loves rebounding.
On Tuesday the Tigers senior expressed her love of the task with 16 rebounds, half of them on the offensive boards to lead Wheaton Warrenville South to a 64-51 win over host and DuPage Valley Conference rival Naperville North.
With Franke taking down 13 of her rebounds in the first half and strong team defense, the Tigers (6-1, 2-0) led 34-17 at the half and held off a fourth-quarter rally by the Huskies (5-3, 1-2).
"Rebounding is my favorite part of the game," Franke said. "I just enjoy sneaking behind the defense and just grabbing the rebound and putting it back in the basket."
Franke also enjoys defense, and she, with some help from teammate Maggie Dansdill, contained Naperville North's Kayla Sharples, holding her to just a basket in the first half.
"I wanted to shut down their best player," Franke said. "I just focused my attention on Kayla and didn't help as much with other players.'
"Melinda on the boards is our M.O.," said WW South coach Rob Kroehnke. "With her, Megan Waldron and Maggie Dansdill on the boards we're rewriting the school rebounding record books. We can score because we're getting two or three shots every time down the floor and that helps."
Kroehnke thought the Tigers played very strong on both sides of the ball in the first half.
"Sharples is a great player and we tried to put a little wrench in that," Kroehnke said. "Melinda is the stopper and her job was to take care of Sharples, and we also played great help defense."
Kroehnke thought the Tigers weren't quite as good in the second half.
However, the Tigers increased their lead from 17 to 21 points in the third quarter.
The Huskies offense finally kicked into gear in the final period when they outscored the visitors 20 to 12.
Waldron was the game's leading scorer with 20 points, 10 in each half. Dansdill finished with 14 and Franke scored 13 for the Tigers.
"Waldron is a special player," said Naperville North coach Jason Dycus. "She has a great change of direction and a great change of speed. And Wheaton South is a great team, a well-coached team."
Laurel Pereira was the high scorer for Naperville North with 18 and Sharples finished with 10.
"The key to the game was we didn't come with energy in the first half as we have all year," Dycus said. "In the second half we showed some resiliency and some fight and we started coming back a little. I just wish we could have put together four quarters."