Waubonsie Valley rolls by Neuqua Valley

By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/19/2021 9:48 PM

At its core, high school sports is about making the memories of a lifetime.

The Waubonsie Valley boys basketball team made plenty of them Friday night.


The Warriors traveled to Neuqua Valley and looked darn near unstoppable in a 70-28 victory.

Making memories is exactly what senior Justin Starks planned to do, thanks to a pregame nudge.

"My dad told me before the game, 'Go out and make some memories, have fun with it,' " said Starks, who scored 9 of his 11 total points in the second quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers, which gave his team a 40-11 advantage at the half.

"That's exactly what we did."

Coach Jason Mead carries 12 seniors on his roster, and virtually all of them contributed on some level Friday to help his team improve to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the DuPage Valley Conference.

No contribution may have been bigger than 6-foot-7 senior forward Carter Langendorf's 12 first-quarter points, which pushed Waubonsie Valley's lead to 23-3 at the period's conclusion.

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Langendorf has a long memory. He recalled a tough loss at Neuqua Valley last season, where the Wildcats sank a half-court shot to prevail.

"It hurt a lot last year, so I felt we had something to prove," said Langendorf, who finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds.

As for the memories, there were plenty for Langendorf, like his two first-quarter 3-pointers, both wide open from the top of the key.

"We didn't think we were going to have a season a couple of weeks ago," he said. "Just to have the opportunity, you never know when it might end, so I'm grateful to come out and play, and to play like that, that felt really good. For one last year together, 12 of us seniors, that's a really good win for us."

Another major contributor was senior point guard Adri Malushi, who by his own admission hasn't been a scoring threat so far this season.

But that changed Friday when he banged home four first-half 3-pointers, the most devastating of which was a shot from the top of the key late in the first half, which gave Waubonsie Valley a 40-9 lead.

"Going to Waubonsie Valley, it's always a big rivalry against Neuqua Valley, so being able to play here for the last time my senior year, it's a big moment for all of us," Malusi said.

Unfortunately, it was less-than-memorable contest for the home Wildcats. Senior forward John Poulikidas, 6 points away from becoming the school's all-time leading scorer, was held scoreless by tough defense from Waubonsie Valley's Ben Schweiger.

Sophomore guard Mark Mennecke paced the Wildcats with 8 points, and junior Jayden Dean had 6, but nobody else had more than 4. Neuqua Valley fell to 4-2 and 1-2 in league.

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