Warfield leads Lake Park past Naperville North
Naperville North did not finish off its DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball opener Tuesday night the way it would have liked, but Lake Park's Jennifer Warfield had a lot to do with way the game went down.
The Lancers' 5-foot-11 senior did a little of everything in her team's 56-49 win in Naperville, especially down the stretch on both ends of the floor. Warfield grabbed key rebound after key rebound, found openings in the Huskies' defense while driving hard to rim, and made good on 10 of 13 free throws in the game, including a perfect 6-for-6 in the second half. And yes, she also blocked a late 3-point attempt by Naperville North to help preserve the win.
"That's what we expect out of her. One of her goals is to average a double-double every night," Lake Park coach Brian Rupp said after his veteran had 23 points and 16 rebounds in the win. "She has the capability of doing that. She's got a really good nose for the ball, and she's a tough guard."
The Lancers (3-3, 0-1) also had a big night from sophomore guard Carson Vance and key contributions from Jordan Bradley and others, but Warfield was the biggest factor in the game. Not only was she filling up the stat sheet, but she played a role in the Huskies' foul troubles as center Sadie Jurkovic picked up two quick fouls down low and CeCe Pope picked up a third foul early in the third quarter while trying to contend with Warfield inside.
Even so, the game was tied at 45-45 with 3:50 left to play after Laurel Pereira split a pair of free throws for the Huskies. But Vance made a three-point play for Lake Park to make it a 48-45 game and the play sparked an 11-2 run that paved the way to a Lancers win.
"This was one of my better scoring nights. I had 13 free throws and made 10 of those," Warfield said. "Once I get those, that's a lot of the points and then we worked together to get the boards. We knew they were coming at the end. So we hung onto the ball and made our free throws."
For Naperville North, it was a tough opening to the conference slate following a strong 3-1 showing at the WarHawk tourney.
"I would say that we didn't close the game the way we wanted to," Huskies coach Jason Dycus said. "We looked a little unsettled. We had a nice tournament and coming out of the championship game we felt real good about our start, but tonight we hit a little stumbling block. We'll work through it, take a ton of notes, and obviously learn form those mistakes tonight."
Pope paced Naperville North (3-2, 0-1) with 13 points, while Pereira had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Sophomore Lauren Platou provided a spark with 8 second-half points, but the Lancers were just too tough late in the game, and finished 20 of 28 from the foul line.