Naperville Central topples Metea Valley
Naperville Central girls basketball coach Andy Nussbaum liked what he saw Tuesday ... a lot.
Sophomore guard Mia Lakstigala had 15 points and 5 rebounds and senior Hannah Swarm added 12 points, 5 assists and 4 steals as Naperville Central defeated Metea Valley 59-47 in a DuPage Valley Conference contest in Naperville.
Lakstigala's pull-up jumper with 1:54 remaining in the first quarter broke a 10-10 tie, and the Redhawks outscored the Mustangs 22-8 over the final 8:30 of the first half to earn their fourth win in their last five games.
"This is probably the best team basketball game we played all year," Nussbaum said. "I looked at the scoreboard at one point and it was 5 points, 6 points, 6 points, 5 points, 6 points. It didn't quite finish that way, but we had good teamwork.
"I thought Mia attacked the basket well. I thought Sara (Teteak) ran the floor well. I think Hannah is always reliable and did a nice job driving to the basket. I'm really happy with the way we played. I think we are getting better and that's our goal at this point. We want to get better."
Lakstigala had 8 points in the first half and Swarm had 9, including a runner in the lane that gave the hosts a 34-18 lead at halftime. Lakstigala's final basket of the game extended the Redhawks' lead to 48-28 with 1:36 remaining in the third quarter.
"When we put pressure on them and started getting steals on defense we had our momentum going," the 5-foot-11 sophomore said. "Everybody was swinging the ball around on offense. We weren't taking quick shots, so we were passing the ball around and everybody had a chance to score."
Lakstigala flashed her entire repertoire on offense, attacking the basket from the point, driving the baseline and hitting a 3-pointer from the deep corner.
"My dad (Naperville Central assistant coach Keith Lakstigala) gets on me a lot in practice, but it helps me to get better," she said.
Teteak added 14 points for Naperville Central (5-3, 2-1). Junior Brianna Hall led Metea Valley (3-6, 1-2) with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Freshman Ashley Konkle and Cheyenne Krehl each had 9 points for the Mustangs.
"Our kids continue to fight and continue to get better," Metea Valley coach Cedric Williams said. "That's what this process is all about. We are going to have our ups and downs. We just have to continue to ride the highs and not concentrate on the lows.
"We're a young team. We're going to make mistakes. We just have to stay positive with each other and continue to make steps forward, not take steps backward or to the side, and we'll be OK."