Naperville North's boys basketball roster this season features a number of role players, including several sharp shooters that often put on shows in practice.
Friday night against Wheaton Warrenville South, 14 Huskies saw action and 10 of them scored in a 60-35 DuPage Valley Conference win. The contest was tight for two quarters before the hosts outscored the Tigers 23-3 in the third quarter to take command.
"Coach came in and he said we missed a bunch of shots in the paint and that we should have been up by 12," said Naperville North senior Michael Laurenzo of his team's 22-16 lead at halftime. "We focused on playing angry. We knew we had to come out strong, and when we went 23-3, by the fourth quarter we basically knew we won the game."
Laurenzo knocked down a pair of 3s on his way to 8 points as part of the balanced attack that featured nine 3s from six Huskies.
"In practice we work around with everyone coming in and out. We have really good team chemistry and we work the ball around well," Laurenzo said. "It's like second nature to us."
Anthony Rehayem paced the Huskies with 11 points, but he was just one of six players to score at least 6 points in the win.
Naperville North coach Jeff Powers often witnesses a lot of sharp shooting in practice. He was thrilled to see so many of his players on target in Friday's game.
"We see this all the time in practice and we just wait for it to happen and it happened tonight," said Powers, whose 12-8 team will take on Plainfield East in a nonconference battle Saturday.
Laurenzo said it's nice to see so many players contribute.
"In practice we do a lot of drills. It's all shooting," he said. "It's just like practice again. It was really good to see everyone knocking down shots. I think it's more fun when that happens."
The third quarter was not fun for the Tigers (4-17, 1-9), who have played some solid first halves of late only to see games slip away in the second half.
"When it rains it pours," Wheaton Warrenville South coach Bob Szorc said. "They do a great job of coming at you with different guys and never let up. It's a credit to them."
Matt Kienzle had a trio of 3s and led the Tigers with 15 points, with Joe Simpson adding 7 points.
For the Huskies, Baylor Griffin had 6 points and 6 rebounds and helped lead a defense that blanked the Tigers for the first 7˝ minutes of the second half.
"Coach told us we've been playing a little flat in the first halves and that we needed to come out stronger," Griffin said. "I think we did that. We locked down on defense and we started talking and playing more as a team on defense."