Triumph comes the WW South way
It was a perfect night for good old-fashioned Tigers basketball, and that's exactly what Wheaton Warrenville South threw at visiting Glenbard North on Friday.
With wins hard to come by of late and minus a pair of starters out sick, the Tigers went with a patient attack on offense and a stay-in-your-face defense from start to finish in a 37-19 DuKane Conference victory over the Panthers.
Lily Huntzinger scored 8 of her game-high 13 points as the Tigers took a 12-3 lead after one quarter and then suffocated Glenbard North (4-15, 0-6) with a stingy 32 minutes of defense. Huntzinger added a 3-pointer in the second quarter as the hosts' lead grew to 24-8 at the half even with starters Meghan Economos and Caitlin Shaughnessy not in the lineup while battling illnesses.
"The defensive effort was outstanding. We've still got a lot of work to do, but it feels good to get a win and feels good to see the type of effort they put out there today," Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke said after his squad improved to 4-13 overall and 2-4 in DuKane action.
The Panthers and coach Steve Wit are accustomed to seeing Wheaton Warrenville South play consistent textbook basketball. Wit is hoping his program gets a little better at doing some of the same things that help the Tigers so much.
"They play pretty good defense," Wit said. "Kronk's an old friend. He really knows what he's doing. His kids play hard and they know where that next teammate is. That's something that frankly we're working on. We catch the ball and we have to take a pause and figure everything out and see where that next girl is. It causes us to be slow at times and with varsity basketball people aren't going to stay open."
With the comfortable lead at the half, the Tigers stuck with their stout defense in the second half. While patient on offense they opened the third quarter with 3s from Mia McCoyd and Katie Kroehnke for a 30-8 advantage.
"I would love to play their style of basketball," Wit added. "I would love to have really good fundamentals and to be patient ... just really they play nice team basketball. We've got some people that play really hard, but this was a frustrating one."
Nevaeh King led the Panthers with 8 points.
Katie Kroehnke tallied 8 points in the second half to finish with 11 and give the Tigers two players scoring in double figures. The coach's daughter missed the last two months with a back injury but knocked down a couple of 3s to give the offense a boost.
"That's definitely something we focus on a lot," the junior said about the Tigers' tough defense. "We always focus on our defense and this week we focused a lot on playing offense at our pace. We've also been working on having confidence on offense and taking the good shots that we get."