Wheaton North defense in peak form against WW South
With Dave Eaton as the girls basketball coach, Wheaton North will always be known for its swarming defense.
But even the Falcons outdid themselves Friday night.
Forcing double the turnovers than points it allowed, Wheaton North stormed to a 40-12 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South on Friday in DuKane Conference action.
Zoey Bohmer led the defensive effort with 9 steals as the Tigers turned the ball over 24 times. Eden Pearson added 3 steals.
"We work hard every day at practice on defense," Bohmer said. "We are always looking to anticipate. We have a lot of girls stepping up, especially younger ones. And we are all working hard.
"We feel pretty good about everything. Offensively, defensively, we are playing well. And we never give up."
Claire Hyde, who was slated to go to WW South before moving during middle school, handled much of the scoring load for the visitors. The senior poured in 19 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
"I know the people (at WW South) and I love the people there," Hyde said. "I still have so much love for them. But we treat this as any other game. You have to be there for your team, bring energy and play hard.
"I love this group of girls. We are a young group but we play super hard. That's what is going to win us games. You can have good shooting nights and you can have bad shooting nights, but defense travels. That's what we pride ourselves on as a program."
Despite not making a field goal in the opening quarter, Wheaton North (8-2, 3-0) grabbed an 8-4 lead after going a perfect 8 for 8 at the free-throw line. The Falcons then held the Tigers without a point over the next eight minutes, utilizing a 13-0 run to take a double-digit advantage into halftime.
Hyde made two of her five 3-pointers during the third quarter as the margin swelled to 38-10. Freshman Sara Abdul also scored 7 straight during that stretch and finished with 11 points.
"That was probably our best defensive effort," said Eaton, whose team's only defeats have come against Lyons Township and Hersey, which have a combined two losses. "We've also been harping on playing as a team and being a team tonight showed, especially on defense. The girls did a great job getting deflections, many of which turned into steals.
"Coming into here (WW South) is tough. (Tigers coach) Rob (Kroehnke) does a great job and their team is obviously good and coached well. To be able to come in here and do that as a young team is great."
WW South (6-5, 1-3) was led by the 6 points of Lily Huntzinger, who added 5 rebounds. Hannah Struebing also tallied 4 points and 3 steals.
"We didn't shoot well and we turned the ball over too much," Kroehnke said. "A really good team is going to take advantage of that and that is what happened.
"For the most part, our defense was OK. But we've got to be able to score. We have to find scorers. That's been our struggle most of the year."