Glenbard South junior point guard Sarah Cohen has improved at attacking the basket this season.
"My teammates get open, they spread out really well and let me get through," Cohen said.
With all five returning starters back, the Raiders also have gained patience.
On Tuesday the Raiders combined both mentalities to remain undefeated in the Metro Suburban Conference Blue Division by holding off determined Wheaton Academy 66-51 in West Chicago.
The Raiders (6-3, 3-0) had a season-high point total as Cohen scored 22 points -- believed to be a personal high -- on the strength of a 3-point field goal, 9 for 10 free-throw shooting and several layups thanks primarily to her teammates' spacing.
"We all are attacking better and getting to the rim stronger (this season)," Cohen said. "We just had to step it up to another level and played just like we did last year, only we practice harder and get to the basket better."
Sophomore center Maggie Bair had 17 points, a personal-high 24 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Junior Ashley Dodge had 12 points and junior Ally Daca had 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Senior Emily Renn had 19 points for Wheaton Academy (4-7, 1-3), 9 of them in the fourth quarter as the Warriors got as close as 49-45 after Glenbard South opened a 19-3 lead after scoring the first basket of the second quarter.
"It got way too close for comfort for sure. We let the speed of the game throw us way off," Glenbard South coach Morgan Kasperek said. "(We) were able to come under control in the fourth quarter, but the second and third, they absolutely outplayed us. They did a nice job of stepping up their offense. They hit a bunch of 3s."
Before Tuesday the Raiders hadn't scored more than 53 points in a game and reached the 50s only twice.
The Warriors closed to 28-20 by halftime and trailed 44-35 entering the fourth quarter. Renn opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back driving baskets, but Bair answered with a putback and driving basket.
After back-to-back 3s by Wheaton Academy seniors Chrislyn Herring and Meredith Bult cut the deficit to 49-45 with 5:26 left, the Raiders scored the next 9 points with 4 each from Cohen and Bair.
Bult had 9 points on 3 second-half 3s and Herring had 8 points.
"Once we got a spark going, we just kept going, kept the energy," Renn said. "I know at halftime there was a lot of every in the locker room. It's just unfortunate we were unable to finish it."
Last season Cohen became the primary point guard after then-senior Payton Carli, sister of current junior guard Mady Carli, suffered a season-ending injury during the first game of Wheaton North's Falcon Classic, which starts Monday.
"Sarah's had a couple of really nice games for us. She's able to penetrate and open up the offense," Kasperek said. "She's definitely doing a better job of looking inside for her points. She's reading the gaps better than she did last year. She's scoring a lot more. Defensively, she's one of our strongest defenders."
The Warriors continue subbing five players at a time progressing under first-year coach Tory Gum, who brought a new offense and defense.
"It's a lot of change. It's kind of hard, but we're working on team chemistry and just always supporting each other," Rehn said. "I think we're getting better at running the system and making sure we're staying where we're supposed to be. And keeping the pace fast, which is good."