It's one thing to know what your opponent wants to do, but it's another thing to be able to prevent them from doing it.
In Saturday night's key West Suburban Conference Gold battle, host Hinsdale South was well aware of Willowbrook's game plan to run the floor with an up-tempo attack. But after a solid first quarter, the Hornets found themselves in a bit of foul trouble, and before they knew it the Warriors had run off a 23-2 blitz in the second quarter on their way to a 58-38 victory that keeps Willowbrook (14-2) atop the league standings at 5-0.
Guard Molly Krawczykowski finished a few of Willowbrook's fast breaks on her way to a game-high 12 points through two quarters, but the Warriors used a total team effort to hand the Hornets (7-9, 3-1) their first WSC Gold defeat of the season.
Melissa Rader helped Willowbrook control the boards, Olivia Domin knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and the visitors outscored Hinsdale South 50-28 over the final three quarters.
"I think we really worked as a team and we were looking for open shots and they fell," said Rader, who finished with 9 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals. "We picked each other up and we fed off each other. We were getting the ball out. We were looking ahead and finishing, so that was good."
What was not good for the Hornets was having Sydney Kopp pick up two fouls in the first quarter and Abby Lewis getting whistled twice in the second quarter. With those two sitting on the bench protecting themselves from further foul trouble, the Warriors turned a 12-10 deficit early in the second quarter into a 27-13 lead following a 3-pointer from Allison Torres. The lead reached 32-15 at the half when Willowbrook capped its 22-3 run with a 3 from Domin.
"We kind of got in foul trouble so we didn't have the usual suspects in there to defend them the way we wanted to," Hinsdale South coach Jen Belmonte said. "Once Sydney and then Abby got in foul trouble that kind of took a turn for the worst."
With two starters out, the Warriors seemed to have little trouble running their fast-paced attack against the Hornets.
"Really all they did was they ran us. They had a focus of running and that's what they do," Belmonte said. "We knew that. We just didn't adjust to it. We knew what they were going to do, we just didn't handle our business."
Rader said Willowbrook was out to avenge a loss last season at Hinsdale South. "It was a good win for us because last year we lost here so we were coming out for blood," she said while laughing.
For the Hornets, the emphasis now shifts to handling Proviso East and then hoping to earn a split with Willowbrook when the teams meet again later this season.
"We'll just shift our focus to Proviso (East) and then hopefully get them next time we're on the road at Willowbrook," said Belmonte, whose team was paced on Saturday by Kopp's 16 points.