You could say Naperville Central stole Thursday's DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball victory from Waubonsie Valley.
Thirteen steals through the first three quarters of play helped Naperville Central roll to a 68-34 victory in Naperville.
"We tried to stay in a zone a lot and we really tried to push the pressure up on them," said sophomore forward Lucy Schmid. "And we really tried to steal the ball and make them uncomfortable so we could try to get those fastbreaks."
"We actually did better, we got more of those (steals) in our half-court defense than we did when we were pressing," Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum added. "We have pretty good size, pretty good arm length."
The Warriors (3-6, 1-3) had 23 turnovers through the first three quarters before the Redhawks went deep to their bench in the fourth.
"They're too good a team to give away possessions like that," Warriors coach David Owles said. "You see what happens. They're a very good team, and you can't make that many mistakes. And they forced a lot of them. Credit to them, they forced us to make a lot of mistakes. They're good at it. We just have to figure out a way to come back and get better at it."
The victory means the Redhawks (6-2, 3-0) remain alone in first place in the DVC heading into Saturday's game against DVC contender Wheaton Warrenville South.
"It's so great," Schmid said of the start. "Our team is awesome. We have such a great connectivity and we're having really great teamwork and I just love the team so much and I feel like it's going to stay throughout the DVC. I can't wait for the season."
Naperville Central junior guard Mia Lakstigala scored a game-high 17 points to go with 6 steals, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Schmid added 12 points and 4 rebounds.
"I thought like we came out with a real good intensity and we tried to push the ball a lot and my shot was really on tonight," Schmid said. "But really I got a lot of assists and my teammates really looked for me and I got those open shots."
The Redhawks actually increased their scoring in the fourth quarter when the reserves entered the game, getting 22 points, including four 3-pointers with senior Meghan Howard hitting 2, and senior Caroline Brock and junior Morgan Dudycha one apiece. Senior Tanya Badrljica added 6 points in the fourth.
"Meghan has shot the ball pretty well," Nussbaum said after collecting his 599th basketball victory. "Caroline Brock shoots the ball well. That's the first game where she's done well. And Tanya, that's the second game in a row she got three baskets in the fourth quarter. Those girls they do well when they get their chance. I'm proud of them. I'm happy for them."
Sophomore guard Doyin Dada led the Warriors with 9 points off the bench on three 3-pointers.
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