Naperville Central takes control against Metea Valley
The Naperville Central boys basketball team's strong combination of varsity experience and first-year talent was on display in a big way Friday night as the host Redhawks cruised by Metea Valley 72-34 in the DuPage Valley Conference opener for both squads.
Junior Kyle Baskin, in his first varsity season, scored a personal-high 27 points. Another junior, Aidan Kramer, also in his inaugural varsity season, put through 13.
Two other starters, seniors Cam Dougherty and Chris Conway, both in their third varsity seasons, also made a big impact with Dougherty being the third Redhawk scoring in double digits with 14.
"We moved the ball well. There were a lot of open shots," Baskin said.
Kramer stressed that the depth of the Redhawks' roster provides plenty of scoring options.
"Guys off the bench can score. Everyone is so unselfish and Cam and Chris are great leaders," he said.
Naperville Central (5-1) wasted zero time in taking control of the game, leading 18-5 at the end of the first quarter and 42-17 at halftime, hitting 10 of 14 from the field during the second period.
"Metea is a good team and has good shooters. We wanted to defend our home court," Baskin said.
Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer said that Baskin and Kramer have been playing together since the third grade.
"We knew they could handle (a varsity role). We didn't know long it would take for them to settle in, but they have," he said.
The Redhawks didn't let up after halftime, shooting 8 of 12 from the field while racking up 22 points and leading 64-29 at the end of 24 minutes.
Myles Leavy and Tahj Morgan each led Metea (3-4) with 9 points each. Leavy sank three 3-point baskets. Kymari McBride scored seven all coming in a strong third quarter for the senior.
"He had a good third quarter. He was trying to get to the basket and attack," said Mustangs coach Isaiah Davis.
Davis said it was simply not Metea's night.
"We struggled to find a rhythm. We will not let this game define us and we'll learn from it," he said.