WW South smothers St. Charles East
Pick an adjective to describe Wheaton Warrenville South's basketball team defense -- relentless, tenacious, workmanlike.
They all apply.
The Tigers improved to 8-0 overall, 3-0 in DuKane Conference play with a convincing 58-33 victory over St. Charles East Saturday night in St. Charles.
Forcing 17 of the Saints' 28 turnovers in the first half, the Tigers jumped out to a 31-12 halftime advantage.
"I'd say our defense was suffocating -- that's the word I'd use," said senior guard Danny Healy, who shared team-high scoring honors with Tyler Fawcett with 16 points. "Our goal was to get them (Saints) out of their rhythm and make them scramble.
"We wanted to make them uncomfortable and make them work for a good shot -- which we hope they don't ever get."
Healy helped propel the Tigers to a quick 12-0 lead midway through the opening quarter, assisting on Fawcett's inside bucket to open the game before scoring 10 consecutive points with three consecutive 3-pointers.
"It felt good," said Healy, who added 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals. "We knew we had them where we wanted them. We just had to put our foot on the pedal and keep going."
"It was nice that Danny made a couple threes early which at least gave us a little bit of a cushion," said Tigers coach Mike Healy. "We honestly didn't expect zone (defense) -- we expected man. That's the first time we've seen that type of zone. They're long up top. They created some issues."
"We wanted to surprise them (playing zone) but credit to his kid for coming out and knocking down three bomb threes," said Saints coach Patrick Woods. "I think that's part of being a coach's kid and being in the gym all of the time."
Wheaton Warrenville South extended its lead to 46-23 after 3 quarters, and to as many as 27 at 50-23 with 6:21 remaining following a basket by Rourke Robinson (6 points, 6 rebounds).
Braylen Meredith had 10 points, while Colin Moore added 5 of the Tigers' 20 steals.
"We've been playing pretty good defensively," said the Tigers' coach, whose team allows an average of 33 points per contest. "I think we were pretty good offensively tonight. I thought our guys, especially in the second half, attacked it a lot better."
Trent Warren led the Saints (0-8, 0-3) with 9 points.
"We had 28 turnovers," said Saints coach Patrick Woods. "We can't win a game with 28 turnovers. We kind of adopted the pound the rock mentality, kind of trying to get better every day -- to identify the metrics of success other than winning.
"They're (the Tigers) very active. They play really hard and their defense is smothering. It's very difficult to get a good look. If you don't shoot at a high percentage and if you don't take care of the ball, you don't have a chance."