Plainfield Central surprises Naperville North
As the Naperville North girls basketball team left the court Tuesday, the looks on their faces were of puzzlement.
Did what happened really happen?
The Huskies opened the Class 4A playoffs against Plainfield Central, a team they beat by 25 points in January. Should have been a cakewalk, right?
Wrong. The Wildcats returned the favor, knocking Naperville North out of the playoffs by virtue of a 51-41 regional semifinal victory at Bolingbrook.
The Huskies just couldn't overcome the inside game of sophomore Anna Griffin, who scored 16, nor the outside shooting of junior guard Kachae Donald, who canned six 3-pointers and scored 20. She had just returned to the team after injury.
Sophomore Greta Kampschroeder was her usual self for Naperville North, scoring 26 and grabbing 16 rebounds. But no other teammate scored more than 8.
"We ran into a hot team, and good for them," said Naperville North coach Jason Dycus. "We kept searching for answers and we had good performance from some of our girls, but not quite enough.
"I'm still proud of the girls for the type of season they had, and I'm more proud of the type of people they are."
From the outset this one looked like it would be problematic for the No. 6-seeded Huskies, who finished 17-10. Donald hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter, which gave the No. 11 Wildcats a 12-8 lead at its conclusion.
Naperville North never led again, though the Huskies did cut the lead to 32-29 at the conclusion of the third quarter.
But then Donald struck again and brought along senior guard Katie Kearney along for the ride.
Donald hit a pair of 3s to start the fourth quarter, and after the teams exchanged a pair of buckets, it was Donald again, this time from the left arc at 4:08. Kearney hit one from the exact same spot at 3:37. All of a sudden, Plainfield Central was up 48-35.
And that was that.
"Last time Greta had 33 -- she destroyed us," said Plainfield Central coach Armond Frazier. "It was tough. She was all over the place. So we tried the box-and-one on her, and we were way more successful. That was our main focus, slow her down as much as we can, and then rebound the ball."
It also didn't help that Kampschroeder picked up her third foul with 1:50 left in the second quarter, and her fourth with 6:16 left in the game.
And still, she put up 26 and 16 … and didn't foul out.
"I knew Anna Griffin was a solid player, she can drive, she can shoot, she can post up," Kampschroeder said. "We were ready for her. She brought her 'A' game tonight. They had shooters. I don't know what they shot from the field."
Actually, it was just 33 percent. But consider that Donald herself shot the same percentage from 3-point land. The best Naperville North could must was 29 percent shooting.
Junior guard Kara Rivard, who had a pair of 3s of her own, will return, along with Kampschroeder and freshman forward Sarah Crossett, who had 8.
"I think it's important for my team to be focused on those positive things," Rivard said. "For example, I don't remember the last time Naperville North girls basketball was undefeated in conference and won conference.
"This was definitely an upset game. We just need to focus on all of the great things we've accomplished this season."