Wheaton Warrenville South girls basketball coach Rob Kroehnke has a simple philosophy he conveys to his players.
"We talk about winning quarters," Kroehnke said. "We had a great second quarter."
The Tigers held West Aurora to 4 points, scoring 15 unanswered points during the second quarter, and their ultimate 12-point differential in the period was the difference in a 53-41 victory Wednesday in Aurora.
With the makeup game win -- the teams still have 11 combined games to play before the regular season ends a week from Saturday -- WW South (21-3, 8-1) maintained its one-game lead over Wheaton North in its bid for a fourth straight conference championship.
West Aurora fell to 16-7 overall and 4-4 in league play.
Kroehnke could not have asked for a more well-balanced start.
Four different WW South players scored on an equal number of possessions to begin the game.
But the Blackhawks would respond in grand style as the squad had four 3-point possessions in the opening quarter.
Alexis Wiggins' consecutive 3-pointers followed an earlier Abriya Zeitz 3-point shot as the Blackhawks were perfect from beyond the arc in the first quarter.
Liz Skaggs' 3-point play broke the only tie of the game, but it also proved to be foreboding to the developments for the remainder of the half.
WW South ended the first quarter strong to take a 4-point lead, and Skaggs' inside score and pair of free throws were the only points West Aurora could muster in the second quarter.
Showcasing discipline, balance and excellent ball movement, the Tigers took command. Erin Zappia launched the 15-point unanswered blitz that Melinda Franke capped with two more at the free-throw line.
Skaggs' free throws finally ended the run to reduce the Tigers' lead to 35-19 at the break.
Meghan Waldron offered compelling evidence for her Division I scholarship.
The Tigers' senior, bound for DePaul, had game highs of 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals.
Franke and Maggie Dansdill were particularly effective as their multiple collaborations resulted in 20 combined points.
"We play really well together," said Dansdill, one of three Tigers in double figures with 10 points. "We knew we had to keep working hard. We have been playing together for a while now. We know everyone's position (on the floor)."
The second half was essentially a wash as West Aurora reduced its second-quarter deficit by 4 points.
"We couldn't get the ball in the hole (in the second quarter)," West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said. "(Skaggs) was sitting on the bench (due to blood). We couldn't find our (offensive) bearings."
"Our goal the whole game was to push the ball," said Skaggs, who had team highs of 15 points and 8 rebounds. "They only played five players (actually seven). We had the fresh legs. We knew they were a tough team."
Wiggins hit three of the Blackhawks' four 3-pointers to finish with 11 points.