Naperville Central concentrated on stopping Wheaton Warrenville South star Meghan Waldron, but all of her teammates came through with the points.
Four of the visiting Tigers reached double figures, as Wheaton Warrenville South dominated the first half and then withstood some red-hot Redhawks outside shooting to win Thursday's DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball contest 61-44.
"The ball still goes through Meghan," said Wheaton Warrenville South coach Rob Kroehnke. "When people pay a lot of attention to her we have other players who are stepping up. When they went to the box-and one in the third quarter the others had to step up and they did."
The balanced Tigers attack was led by Olivia Linebarger, who scored 12. Maggie Dansdill and Melinda Franke chipped in 11 each and Erin Zappia contributed 10.
In fact Waldron was the only starter in single digits, finishing with 8, but she also had 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
Franke was once again a power on the glass with a game-high 16 rebounds.
"Melinda crashed the boards as she's been doing all year," Kroehnke said. "Olivia was taking it to the hole. Maggie got some nice shots, and Erin is getting better every game."
"This was really a team game," Linebarger said. "It doesn't matter who hits the shots. Even if she's not scoring, Meghan is a great playmaker."
"We controlled the boards and got a lot of chances," Zappia said. "Our defense was good, and we had good ball movement. The girls who came off the bench also did a nice job."
At the end of the first half, it looked as though the Tigers (15-2, 3-0) had the game well in hand.
But in the third quarter, some effective defense and hot shooting by Naperville Central's Emily Kraft, who hit 14 of her game-high 20 points, kept the Redhawks in the game They finished just seven points down at the end of the period.
But early in the fourth quarter the Tigers went on a 13-3 run and closed out the game.
"Our third quarter was outstanding," said Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum. "And we were fine in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. In the second half we slowed Waldron down a little. But we need to extend that effective play to 32 minutes. That's been our problem -- playing like that from bell to bell."
Shannon Ryan scored 17 points for the Redhawks (4-13, 0-3).
"Emily and Shannon provided a lot of offense," Nussbaum said. "But we need to get points from some other people. Wheaton is a good team, and they're a good rebounding team. We have to get better."