Naperville Central's boys basketball team discovered the perfect remedy for a tough loss.
The Redhawks got right back on the court.
Three days after suffering a heartbreaking DuPage Valley Conference defeat, host Naperville Central bounced back in a 52-42 victory over future DVC foe Waubonsie Valley in Tuesday's nonconference action.
The Redhawks (10-5) never surrendered the lead after they grabbed it on the final bucket of the first quarter. The steady effort on both ends of the court created a much different postgame mood than a few days earlier when a last-second 3-pointer by Glenbard North stunned the Redhawks in a 62-61 loss.
"We wanted to get that loss out of our stomachs, so tonight we emphasized our effort," said Redhawks third-year starting guard Ryan Antony. "We needed to come out right away. We didn't want to lay an egg in the first half and try to work our way back in the second half. We wanted to come out right away with intensity."
Naperville Central didn't hammer the Warriors (10-7) with a devastating run. Instead it was a barrage of mini-runs. After taking an early 7-2 lead, Waubonsie Valley didn't score more than 4 straight points the rest of the game.
Five players scored at least 5 points for the Warriors, with Jack Cordes and Chris Karkazis tallying 10 apiece, but the Warriors struggled to get much through Naperville Central's defense.
"We just never put two and two together," said Warriors coach Chaz Taft. "We never got a score, a stop and a score. We didn't put a string of that together."
A three-point play by Nick Czarnowski, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds, followed by 3-pointers from Matt Meier, Antony and Matt Bennett helped Naperville Central take a 42-35 lead through three quarters. After Meier and Antony, who each poured in 13 points, scored at the start of the fourth quarter, the Redhawks maintained at least an 8-point advantage.
"The best thing that could have happened is that we have a Tuesday night game," Redhawks coach Pete Kramer said of Saturday's loss. "That's the toughest loss I've ever had as a coach. We talked about it and said let's come out here and take that feeling you have inside and spread it all over the floor tonight. Just play hard."
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