After what he saw in practice this past week, Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer knew his post players might just be ready for a breakout game
Sometimes, though, he sometimes has to give them a little nudge.
Center Nick Czarnowski and forward Patrick Maloney excelled in practice this week and then excelled in Friday night's easy 57-31 DuPage Valley Conference win over visiting Glenbard East. The two big guys combined for 23 points and 22 rebounds as the Redhawks stormed out to a 36-13 lead at the half and coasted to their fifth win in six outings this season.
The 6-foot-8 Czarnowski had a double-double in the first half with 13 points and 10 boards through two quarters, and he finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Maloney added 7 points, 9 boards and a blocked shot of his own as Naperville Central improved to 2-0 in the DVC.
"Both big guys, Nick and Pat, you know what? They had a great week of practice," said Kramer, whose Redhawks have a tough nonconference battle at Hinsdale Central on Saturday before next week's key conference game with West Aurora. "I just told them, you bust your tails all week. Go show it. This is the fun part. Go show it."
The Redhawks did indeed show it on Friday and had plenty of fun along the way. After JaRon Hall gave Glenbard East (1-6, 0-2) a quick 3-0 lead with a long jumper to start the game, the hosts went on a 10-0 run on their way to a 13-5 lead after one quarter. A 23-8 blitz in the second quarter determined the outcome after only 16 minutes of play.
"Pat and I were both scoring and our shooters were putting down shots," Czarnowski said. "If we weren't getting the putbacks, our guards were ready and cutting. The ball was moving and we were hitting our shots."
Plus, nothing helps an offense like second and third chances.
"I thought the story was on the glass on both ends of the floor. Their size hurt us," Rams coach Scott Miller said. "Any team, when they get second and third shots, that basket starts to get bigger and bigger."
As for the strong rebounding, Czarnowski agrees with his coach those strong efforts on the practice floor help carry over into the games.
"Me and Pat were crashing hard and so was everyone else," the Redhawks center said. "We work hard all week in practice. Me and Pat push each other an we get a lot of rebounding practice."
While the big guys dominated, guard Ryan Antony also was sharp, knocking down a pair of 3s to total 11 points an also coming away with 5 steals.
Hall paced the Rams with 11 points and Michael Finley and Patrick Peterkin had 6 rebounds apiece.