Naperville North applied its Princeton-style basketball offense in a win over Glenbard North last week, and the Huskies used that same strategy Saturday night against Plainfield East.
The Bengals were held to just 11 field goals and Illinois-bound Aaron Jordan was held to just 6 points during a 33-32 Huskies win Saturday night.
Naperville North's half-court offense controlled the tempo for much of the night, keeping Plainfield East from utilizing its athletic advantage.
"We've been working on Princeton all year and then we brought it out against Glenbard North and it was successful," Naperville North coach Jeff Powers said. "We're playing 5-7 guards, so we figured this way we have less time defending and more time on offense. It's worked, so we're going to continue to do it until something changes."
The Huskies (13-8) led for most of the first three quarters, going up by as many as 6 points in the second quarter when a pair of free throws by Jayson Winick gave his team a 15-9 lead.
The Bengals' Josh Smith went 5 of 7 on free-throw attempts and Myles Ward's basket just before halftime cut the deficit to 17-16.
Plainfield East took its first lead at 27-26 on a baseline 3-pointer by Jordan, who was held to just two 3-point baskets on the night while being guarded primarily by Anthony Rehayem.
"We can't match up man-to-man with (Plainfield East) even though I thought Anthony Rehayem did an unbelievable job on Jordan," Powers said. "They're a great team and I think after their big win last night, having to run up and down and cover us side to side, it maybe took some energy out of them."
Smith gave the Bengals their biggest lead of the night with a basket inside with 3:03 left, putting his team up 32-28.
The Huskies followed with an isolation play where Jelani McClain found Rehayem open for a 3-pointer in front of the Naperville North bench, cutting the Bengals' lead to 32-31.
Coming out of a timeout, Naperville North ran the same isolation play, this time leading to a driving layup by McClain with 31.9 seconds left to put the Huskies up 33-32.
"The first time, I really didn't get around (my defender)," McClain said. "The second time, I sized up a little more and got into his body and then went in for the basket."
Plainfield East had three chances after taking a timeout with 13.8 seconds left. A baseline 3-point attempt by the Bengals' Nick Novak missed the mark, but the rebound was knocked out of bounds by Naperville North with one second left.
The buzzer sounded when the Huskies again knocked the ball out of bounce on the ensuing inbounds play, but the officials put 0.2 seconds on the clock, giving Plainfield East one more chance.
However, Rehayem knocked away an inbounds pass inside to James Clark to end the game.