Jayne LaBelle has waited four years to break out the reverse layup the Wheaton Warrenville South senior showed off at Naperville North on Saturday afternoon.
"Honestly, I've been working on that for about four years now and it finally came. It's something that really made me smile," LaBelle said.
The Tigers had plenty of reasons to smile. LaBelle's basket helped the Tigers break away from the Huskies in the third quarter of their DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball game for a 57-26 win.
"Wheaton South is really good," said Naperville North coach Jason Dycus. "They're tournament-tested. They play many top teams in the state, and that's a team and a program that I think our program can learn from. The way they share the basketball.
"They don't have a girl over 5-foot-8, 5-9, and they find a way to get scores in the post because they move the ball so fast. They can also shoot it. They have all five of their starters back and it looked like it. They're a well-oiled machine, and (Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke) does a very good job, so the credit goes to them."
The reverse layup was LaBelle's only basket of the game, but as usual she found other ways to contribute. In limited minutes because of the blowout, LaBelle added 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and strong post defense.
"I mostly look for my teammate, Jayla (Johnson)," LaBelle said. "I like to look for her down low and kick it out for some really good 3-point shooters on the outside."
Johnson got on a roll early. After Sarah Struebing scored the first six points of the game, Johnson took over by scoring the next eight Tigers points for a 14-2 Tigers lead. She finished with 21 points. Struebing and Maria Dohse added 8 apiece.
But it was the hardworking Tigers defense that put a smile on Kroehnke's face. They held the Huskies to single-digit scoring in each of the first three quarters.
"We really stress our defensive end and how hard we go on our defensive end," LaBelle said. "And then we let our offense come together after that."
"They took our scorers out of it. They punched us and we didn't punch back," Dycus said.
The Tigers (11-7, 6-2) remain in third place in the DVC, one game behind Naperville Central and two back of Wheaton North.
Morgan Lockridge led Naperville North (6-7, 1-4) with 12 points.