Fast start sends Waubonsie Valley past Glenbard North

 
By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/5/2019 10:24 PM

Thursday night's Glenbard North at Waubonsie Valley girls basketball game was like watching a boxer just pummel the opponent in the first round almost to the point of a knockout.

Then the opponent got off the ropes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Warriors (3-4) were almost perfect in the first quarter, jumping out to a 31-11 advantage. However, the Panthers (1-5) got their game going. Waubonsie did keep a grip on the contest and left the court a 62-45 winner.

The Warriors were on fire shooting from the field at 12 of 14 in the opening quarter with Ahniya Melton hitting for 9 points. Mykah Berkompas and Lauren McKnight each put through 6 points, all on 3-point baskets.

"The first quarter was a lot of fun after a tough week of practice," Melton, who scored a game-high 17 points, said. "We were upset coming out of our Thanksgiving tournament. We were concerned about our slow starts and the key tonight was getting off to a good start."

Waubonsie Valley coach Brett Love said the break between Thanksgiving competition and Thursday's game was an opportunity to be used.

"It was some tough practices the last few days. It was a good opportunity to refocus on what we do well," he said.

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The Warriors still led by a comfortable 42-23 advantage at halftime. However, Glenbard North outscored Waubonsie 34-31 during the final three quarters.

"We were able to settle down. We had great looks in the first quarter, but they didn't go in," said Panthers coach Steve Wit. "Our misses turned into their (Waubonsie's) fastbreak points.

"We won the second half. The kids need to understand that every possession is valuable and I think they valued possessions during the last three quarters."

Olivia Kulig, who led her team with 15 points, and Akira Lebron each pulled their team to within 17 during the third quarter with the Warriors finishing that period on a 6-2 run to lead 50-29 at the end of 24 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sometimes a team doesn't get going after being slammed in the opening quarter, but Glenbard North wasn't one of those squads, and Waubonsie was prepared for that.

"We knew they would make a comeback. We lost a little bit of energy," Berkompas said. "We knew we had to keep the lead and went back to what worked in the first quarter."

Berkompas finished with 15 points, all on 3-pointers.

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