Kampschroeder gives Naperville North a boost
Pesky East Aurora would not go away, so Naperville North junior Greta Kampschroeder did something about it.
The junior scored 8 of her game-high 24 points during a 14-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter to lead the third-seeded Huskies to a 45-28 victory over the No. 15 Tomcats in Tuesday's Class 4A Yorkville regional semifinal.
"Last season during this (regional semifinal) game we lost (51-41 to Plainfield Central at Bolingbrook) and that was pretty upsetting," Kampschroeder said. "I know coming in the veterans were ready to go, ready to win, and we have some younger players who were playing (in the postseason) for the first time, but they were ready and so were the coaches. They've been preparing us for this all season."
East Aurora (12-19) hung with the Huskies for three quarters because of timely 3-point shooting. Tatiana Ocasio and Toni Slater knocked down a combined six 3-pointers and scored all but 6 of East Aurora's points.
"(Ocasio) shot the ball pretty well," Kampschroeder said. "I think we did a pretty good job of contesting those shots for the most part, but she was able to hit some. Our defense picked it up and it definitely helped scoring in a variety of ways so that was good."
Naperville North (24-5) dominated East Aurora, 28-18 on the glass, while the Tomcats committed 17 turnovers to just 8 by the Huskies. Those statistics translated into 14 second-chance points by the Huskies as well as 14 points off turnovers.
"We had the size advantage for sure and the second-chance points were a good factor for us," Huskies coach Erin Colletti said. "But I don't think we did a good enough job of finishing inside, though. We got a lot of good looks, but I wish we would've finished a few more."
A nice three-point play inside from senior Jada Wilmington, a basket from freshman Abby Drendel and a putback from Kampschroeder allowed the Huskies to turn a 27-20 lead at the start of the fourth quarter into a 34-20 advantage with a little more than five minutes left to play.
A minute-and-a-half later, Kampschroeder buried a long-range 3-pointer before completing a three-point play, and suddenly the lead had stretched to 42-22.
"The fourth quarter looked more like Huskie basketball," Colletti said. "The first three quarters we took a couple steps backwards. We were letting them take us out of our composure. But we regained it with our leadership and we've been in a lot of these ugly games where we're not playing our best basketball."
Like Colletti has said countless times, though, "ugly wins are better than pretty losses."
Drendel added 8 points and Kampschroeder had 9 rebounds for the Huskies, who played four freshmen.
"Abby did a great job and she's really grown a lot this season playing the point guard as well as the shooting guard position," Colletti said. "Her and Nikki (Kwilosz) kind of swap in at point guard and Abby has taken ownership of the floor and as a freshman is a great leader. Peyton (Fenner) stepped in and played her role, Layla (Henderson) played pretty solid and Abby Homan, our fourth freshmen, got in at the end."
Now winners of 11 straight, the Huskies will take on No. 6 West Aurora (21-8) in Thursday's regional title game. The Blackhawks beat the Huskies 48-45 in the season opener on Nov. 23.