Naperville Central's cross-town win is a slam dunk
Naperville Central waited a long time for an effort like this.
And the Redhawks waited for the perfect opponent.
They rolled to Friday's 53-33 DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball victory over visiting Naperville North to beat their cross-town rival for the first time since 2015.
Defensively the score speaks for itself. But offensively -- powered by 6-foot-10 Oakland University-bound senior Chris Conway's 19 points and 7 rebounds -- Naperville Central was brilliant while knocking down 17 of 22 shots in the last three quarters.
"We get most of our offense off our defense, so we made an effort making sure we were going as hard as we could on defense, getting stops, and it translated to the offensive end," said Conway, who scored 15 second-half points. "Early we kind of struggled but when we got to the second half, that was probably some of the best basketball we've played."
With Naperville Central (6-1, 2-0) leading 21-13 at halftime, Conway tallied 8 points in the third quarter. An 8-0 run extended the margin to double digits late in the period.
Naperville North (2-5, 0-2) struggled through another tough shooting night that didn't get much better after a 1-of-9 first quarter. The Huskies shot 3 of 13 from 3-point range and had only 2 offensive rebounds.
"We're having a hard time scoring and it's not indicative of our shooters," said Huskies coach Gene Nolan. "This really is a good-shooting team, but we have not shot well. We're in a stretch now that's not going to define us, but it's going to make us better."
Twelve of Naperville Central's 18 baskets featured assists. Cam Dougherty scored 13 points while Aidan Kramer had 9 points and Kyle Baskin 8 points.
Grant Johnson and Myles Barry scored 10 points for Naperville North.
"We're sharing the ball, they know each other's strengths and weaknesses and they've all bought in," said Redhawks coach Pete Kramer. "It's a good win for us."