While Wheaton Warrenville South searches for a little more consistency on offense, it's nice for the Tigers that they can lean on a pretty steady defense.
In Tuesday's DuPage Valley Conference contest with visiting Glenbard North, the Tigers' offense showed flashes of offensive prowess. But it was a strong, steady defense that paved the way to a 46-24 victory.
"They wanted to slow down the pace of the game and defensively we did a great job," Wheaton Warrenville South coach Rob Kroehnke said of the Panthers' strategy.
"We've just got to find a way to score. At times we go on nice little runs. We've just got to be more consistent with the scoring."
The Tigers led 6-4 in the opening quarter following a fastbreak bucket by MacKenzie Stebbins. But they didn't score over the final two and a half minutes as Glenbard North went ahead 8-6 on a pair of baskets from Frankie Malkin.
But the hosts forced 8 Panthers turnovers in the second quarter and used a 15-5 run to take a 21-13 lead at the half. The Tigers' lead grew to 35-16 after three quarters of play as the Glenbard North offense mustered just three points in the quarter.
"We just needed to get started. We started off a little slow, but then we got going," said Tigers junior Jayla Johnson, who scored a game-high 12 points and added 7 rebounds. "We have always believed that defense wins games and that if we can keep our intensity high we know that can cause these turnovers and it leads us to some open baskets."
Glenbard North, now 5-4 and 0-3 in the DVC, got its share of good looks, but not enough shots were on target.
"The lead stretched out a little for them, but then we just came out in the third quarter and we couldn't throw it into the ocean," said Panthers coach John Chamberlain, whose team was held back somewhat by foul trouble in the first half to Leah Miller and Lauren Lee. "I've got girls that can shoot the ball, they're just not shooting it right now."
Sarah Struebing knocked down a pair of 3-pointers on her way to 10 points, and the senior also had 8 rebounds and a pair of assists for the Tigers, who improved to 5-3, 2-1.
"At times we did a real nice job with it tonight and at times we struggled," Kroehnke said of his team's offense. "Consistency is what we're looking for right now. We'll get there. There's no doubt."
For Glenbard North, Lee and Kayla Quanstrum each tallied 6 points and Lee also led the team with 6 rebounds. For WW South, Stebbins finished with 8 points and Alexa Horvatin added 7 points and 3 steals off the bench.
"There were a lot of positives," Johnson said after her team's conference win. "We just have to keep working hard in practice and put into games what we learn in practice."