WW South defeats Naperville North to remain perfect in league
Wheaton Warrenville South has found its happy place: first place in the DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball race.
The Tigers remained undefeated in the league with Saturday afternoon's 56-46 victory against visiting Naperville North.
"That's pretty exciting," said Tigers guard Erin Madigan, a four-year varsity player. "I haven't felt like this since sophomore year. Last year we had potential, but last year -- and I've said this before -- was kind of like a rebuilding. We don't have the height and we're really underestimated, but we really do have the heart."
The Tigers (12-4, 7-0) led 30-27 at halftime but held the Huskies to just 3 points in the third quarter and led by 10 going to the fourth. The Huskies (8-5, 2-3) never got closer than 7 again.
"Everything starts with the defense," Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke said. "It's been harped on for 20-plus years up here, and we're not going to stop now. I thought we did a nice job."
"We just had too many turnovers," added Huskies coach Jason Dycus, concerned about a recent epidemic of turnovers that included 19 against the Tigers.
The Tigers committed just 7 turnovers. They also hit 11 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter, 17 of 27 for the game, a big improvement from Tuesday's 7-of-23 free-throw shooting.
"Tuesday was just an off day for us," Madigan said with a laugh. "I don't know what was going on with us. Our field-goal percentage was something I've never seen before, so we don't even talk about Tuesday."
Naperville North got 19 points in a breakout game for sophomore center Sadie Jurkovic. Senior Laurel Pereira added 11 points.
"(Jurkovic) was outstanding," Dycus said. "I could not be more proud of her effort. She had up-and-under moves. She turned and squared. She didn't put it on the floor. And she was our best scorer, by far. So the sophomore grew up today. I'm very, very proud of her. And I think the girls did a nice job of looking for her."
Madigan led the Tigers with 18 points, and Jayla Johnson added 16. Each girl grabbed 7 rebounds.
"I've got to get her off the floor, but it's hard to take her off the floor," Kroehnke said of Madigan, his senior leader. "She understands the tempo, understands all that stuff. Defensively, she does a good job. Takes big shots. She's probably the most aggressive on offense as far as taking it to the hole. So you need that. When she gets tired, it gets a little sloppy at times. It's trying to figure out when to take her out."
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