WW South still unbeaten after win over Geneva
Wheaton Warrenville South is unbeaten for a few reasons, but the biggest one is the Tigers' ferocious defense.
In Wednesday night's DuKane Conference boys basketball matchup against visiting Geneva, the 7-0 Tigers held Geneva to 14 first-half points and then topped that effort by blanking the visitors in the third quarter on their way to a 46-30 victory, their second in as many conference tries this year.
"Yeah, we were flying around. We shut them out in the third quarter and we also had single digit quarters in the first and second," said 6-foot-5 junior forward Braylen Meredith, who led all scorers on Tuesday with 19 points. "We were just playing great defense.
"Yeah, our guys have been coming in every day and we put in that work. We're playing defense, flying around the court and making plays."
The Vikings came to town with a 5-1 record but struggled to get many good looks at the basket against a Tigers defense that pressed well, guarded tightly and closed rapidly on anyone looking to shoot from the perimeter. In the scoreless third quarter Geneva (5-2, 1-1) attempted just 5 shots and had 5 turnovers.
"They were awesome especially in that third quarter," Vikings coach Scott Hennig said of his opponents. "It's kind of hard to explain in words but I thought we had opportunities. We dropped some passes and then we missed some good shots, but they're very good. They're 7-0 and they've beaten some really good teams."
WW South led 9-5 after one quarter and just 18-14 late in the second following one of 4 3-pointers from Geneva's Christopher Suger. But Roarke Robinson's 3 gave the Tigers a 22-14 lead at the half and they extended that lead to 33-14 after owning the third quarter 11-0.
"The kids did a really good job tonight defensively," said WW South coach Mike Healy. "I don't know if we were always in the right spot but they were definitely ready for the next shot. They played really well, especially in that third quarter and that allowed us to maybe get some easy things on offense."
While the defense was doing its part, Meredith and Tyler Fawcett were offensive forces down low and Robinson and Danny Healy combined to put down 5 3s.
"Every game we try and stump them," said Healy, a senior guard. "To make sure every shot is a hard shot, and we don't want to give any easy looks. Our goal is to have a couple single [digit] point quarters every game and tonight we did that."
Healy said his dad and the entire coaching staff stresses defense in practice.
"He emphasizes a lot [to close hard]. We want to make sure they get the ball on the floor and get them out of rhythm. Geneva's got good shooters and we didn't want to let them get comfortable."
Mission accomplished on that front.