Emphasis on DVC play pays off for Waubonsie Valley vs. Naperville North
Three of the four regular-season losses suffered last season by Waubonsie Valley's boys basketball team came in the DuPage Valley Conference.
So, yeah, it's a focus this year.
"Really big," said Warriors senior Marcus Skeete. "It's my last year and we know we can win it. We're going to come out each conference game and play hard."
Fast and physical, Waubonsie Valley never trailed in Friday's 57-33 victory at Naperville North to start DVC play.
A dominant road win against the defending conference champion? Not a bad way to begin the quest for a title.
"Obviously, most teams have a goal of winning their league, and I value that a lot because it shows consistency over a long period of time," said Warriors coach Jason Mead, whose team went 27-5 last year. "Winning the league is important because it shows you've been a good team from December to February. And it's a really good league."
With tenacious ball pressure the Warriors (5-0, 1-0) ripped to a 14-3 lead while forcing Naperville North (2-3, 0-1) into 7 of its 16 turnovers on the night. The Huskies clawed within 14-10 by the end of the first quarter, but the tone had been set.
"Waubonsie is a really good team and obviously their defenders were really physical with us," said Huskies junior Grant Johnson. "It's something we haven't necessarily seen to that level this season. It's good to see it early in the season so we're ready for it when other teams play that way against us."
Balance also served the Warriors well as rapid ball movement led to numerous assisted buckets. Ben Schwieger, one of four juniors in the Warriors' starting lineup, led the way with 17 points, while Skeete had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Johnson had 10 points and 6 rebounds. Myles Barry, playing in his first game since suffering a foot injury in the fall, also scored 10 points for the Huskies.
"Credit to Waubonsie, they're a great team and I think their strength played a big factor tonight," said Naperville North coach Gene Nolan. "We've got a lot to work on, but I know it's an awesome group of kids that'll work to get better."