Dundee-Crown senior point guard Kennedy White not only has a quick first step, she has thick skin.
Her coach Sarah Miller and her Charger teammates have been encouraging White to attack the basket more.
White took their advice Tuesday night in a 42-30 Fox Valley Conference victory over Hampshire, scoring a game-high 16 points including 12 in the first half as the Chargers grabbed control early with a 25-14 halftime lead.
"I like the criticism, I feed off of it, and it's just a matter of doing it (driving)," White said. "We win games because of it, everybody is attacking, everybody is rebounding. It's effective."
White did sink a 3-pointer in the win, but most of her other five field goals came in transition as she beat the Whip-Purs down the court and to the rim.
"We've been getting on her a lot," Miller said. "Being a senior, being on varsity the last three years, she's settling for her 3. Not saying she can't hit it, she has a good shot, but she has that explosive first step and the ability to get to the hoop whenever she wants."
Dundee-Crown (11-7, 6-3) jumped to an early 9-1 lead, and White scored a pair of the baskets on layups.
Hampshire (8-11, 3-5) briefly pulled within 11-6 on a putback by freshman Kelby Bannerman. The Chargers answered with the next 9 points including a conventional 3-point play from White and another layup as Hampshire turned the ball over three straight times to start the second quarter and fall behind 20-6.
"Everyone was just stressing with Kennedy because we know what she can do," sophomore guard Katelyn Skibinski said. "The whole team just pushed her to just drive and obviously it worked out really well today. Kennedy is super aggressive to the hoop."
Hampshire never got closer than 9 points in the second half.
Payton Schmidt and Gianine Boado both added 7 points for Dundee-Crown, and Anna Kieltyka was a big part of the aggressive defense with 7 rebounds and 5 steals.
"I was super proud of our defense," Miller said. "That energy too. We were in the passing lane, we were getting tips, we turned them over a lot of times. That completely jump-started our offense."
The Chargers played without Maddy Tripp (foot) for the third straight game. Miller expects the 6-foot-2 senior back soon.
The Whip-Purs defeated Dundee-Crown 31-28 in the consolation final of the Chargers' Christmas tournament. On Tuesday, they couldn't overcome a slow start that included turnovers on four of their first six possessions.
"We keep having to fight out of a hole," Whip-Purs coach Mike Featherly said. "You take that early run out and it's an even game. It's as simple as that.
"They took it to us and we didn't respond well. It got physical, they let us play a little bit, and that definitely helps Dundee-Crown. We didn't answer their challenge and a little disappointed we didn't handle that."
Bannerman led Hampshire with 14 points and Ally Cermak added 7. The Whips shot just 29 percent (9 for 31) and turned the ball over 17 times.
"Offensively we are so passive," Featherly said. "It's amazing if you come to our practice how much we focus on offense. There's probably parents up there saying, "Do they ever practice offense?' It's got to be 70 to 80 percent of our practice is offense."