Oswego East runs past Metea Valley
Oswego East grabbed a rebound, and head coach Abe Carretto immediately yelled "go, go, go."
It's a command Riley Doggett and the Wolves don't have to be told twice.
"We definitely like to push the pace," said Doggett, Oswego East's junior guard. "We like to get out there and do our thing. We don't like to slow things down so other teams can play their pace."
The Wolves certainly dictated that tempo Tuesday morning at the Oswego East Holiday Classic, and Metea Valley simply couldn't keep up. Oswego East had eight steals and forced 13 turnovers in the first half alone to forge a 22-point halftime lead, and coasted to a 59-24 win.
Doggett scored 10 points, eight coming in the first half, and had four steals. Maddie Stockley scored 12 points, seven coming in a second quarter in which Oswego East (5-8) outscored Metea Valley (3-9) 17-3 for a commanding 29-7 halftime lead. Cami Phillips also had three steals.
The Wolves had 14 transition points in the first half, while limiting the Mustangs to just three first-half field goals.
"They sped us up; we had dead legs today," said Metea Valley coach Keith McIntosh, who dressed just seven varsity players with two JV girls called up. "Missing a lot of players, it's tough to play like that."
And tough to keep up with an Oswego East team that plays fast, and isn't afraid to go deep to its bench. Seven different players scored in the first half alone. Cydnei Mitchell came off the bench to score eight of her 10 points in the third quarter.
Even with a huge lead in the second half, Oswego East barely took its pedal off the gas.
"Even when we're pressing teams and we're up, I want to sit back but I don't want to sit back," Oswego coach Abe Carretto said. "We can play good half-court defense but the flow and the intensity is better when we're doing full court stuff."
Indeed, the Wolves score off turnovers, and also don't hesitate to push off missed or made baskets. On one play, Katie Jorgensen grabbed a defensive rebound and in two passes Doggett was scoring at the other end, part of a 14-0 first-half run for an 18-4 lead.
Jorgensen had nine rebounds to go along with seven points.
"Katie is our QB," Doggett said with a smile. "It's just our mentality to push it. Even off made shots we like to get the ball and go."
Metea Valley has its own girl who likes to go, jet-quick junior point guard Khaliah Reid, who scored 11 points and accounted for half of the Mustangs' made field goals with several daring drives to the basket.
"Khaliah came to play. She plays hard, gives effort," McIntosh said. "Hopefully we'll learn from this."
Oswego East was playing its first game in 10 days, since its second loss to Fremd, with a game Monday with Plainfield Central canceled. Three teams have had to drop out of the Oswego East tournament because of COVID protocols.
The Wolves, who have quality losses to Fremd (twice), St. Charles East and Nazareth, get a huge test Wednesday against Sycamore, who has beaten both Nazareth and Geneva.
"It felt good to be out here," Doggett said. "We got to practice Monday but it's so much more fun to be out here playing."