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In its final regular-season boys basketball game Naperville North spoiled cross-town rival Naperville Central’s festivities with a 41-29 DuPage Valley Conference win on Wednesday.
The Huskies (17-9, 9-5) went on a 9-0 and a 7-0 run in the first two quarters of the game and had a 21-point fourth quarter to take revenge on the Redhawks, who won the previous season meeting. The Redhawks were holding their Senior Night as well as honoring their football state championship during the game.
“We knew they were going to be pumped up so we knew we had to come up here and punch them in the mouth and I think that’s what (we) did,” said Naperville North’s Anthony Rehayem. “They realized that we are not that team that got blown out at our gym.”
In the first half Rehayem couldn’t be stopped by the Redhawks (19-7, 10-4). The senior guard started the scoring with a 3-pointer and finished the half with 12 points and the game with 14 points. Rehayem had more than half of the Huskies’ points in the first half as the two teams went into halftime with Naperville North up 20-14.
In the third quarter the Huskies were held scoreless by the Naperville Central defense, as the Redhawks went on a 9-0 run led by Nick Czarnowski and went into the fourth quarter leading 23-20. Czarnowski had a team-high 8 points on the night.
Even with the scoreless quarter Naperville North slowed play down tremendously, almost taking half of the third quarter away with strong possession play.
“Well we think the more possessions they got, with as big as they are, we thought that if we can control the ball more that would be better for us and it ended up working out,” said Huskies coach Jeff Powers. “They beat us by about 20 (last time) and we didn’t want to get that beat up this time.”
The Huskies then forced a 21-point fourth quarter with some fastbreak points and some strong play in the second half by Jayson Winick. Winick had 13 points in the game with 9 points in the second half.
From the start Redhawks coach Pete Kramer thought his team came out flat.
“I don’t think we were ready to play from the start,” Kramer said. “Give them credit, I thought they outworked us. I was real pleased with our third-quarter effort. I don’t think they scored a point in the third quarter, but down the stretch we didn’t execute. We didn’t shoot the ball very well, we didn’t do a whole lot real (well).”