Waubonsie Valley takes the second, victory vs. Neuqua Valley
Sometimes all it takes to win is one really solid quarter.
For the Waubonsie Valley boys basketball team, that quarter was the second on Friday in a 62-54 win over rival Neuqua Valley.
The Warriors canned six 3-pointers in that period -- four off the hot hand of sophomore guard Tyler Threat, who lived up to his name.
While he didn't do it singlehandedly, Threat was a big reason Waubonsie Valley turned a 12-12 tie at the end of the first quarter to a 36-20 advantage at the half.
What was his impetus in the second quarter?
"We knew it was going to be a rivalry game, and we knew they were going to have fans talking," Threat said of Neuqua Valley's peppy student section. "The team just played good and gave me open shots and I feel I made the most of it."
Sure did. After sophomore teammate Tre Blissett hit a 3 at 6:42, Threat did likewise 22 seconds later, but he was just getting started. He hit another at 2:52 to give the Warriors a 25-16 lead. Then he sandwiched two more between junior Eric Chtilianov's 3-pointer.
Do the math. That's indeed four 3-pointers -- 4 of 9 in the first half for Waubonsie Valley (10-6, 2-2).
"I'll be honest, some of it was luck," coach Andrew Schweitzer said of those 3s. "We lost to Lockport on Tuesday night … we did not show up. We worked our tails off for the this game. Our game plan coming in was playing unselfishly."
It would be easy to say the Warriors never looked back, but that would be a inaccurate. Sure, the Wildcats dug themselves a substantial hole, but they cut the deficit to 45-35 at the end of the third quarter, which is when senior guard Jayden Dean went to work.
Dean scored 12 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, six in the paint with acrobatic layups. He was also a perfect 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
But consider this. Dean was just as aggressive around the ball on both ends of the floor. He finished with a game-high 8 rebounds, including 3 on the offensive end. Oh, and there was something else.
"He took the first charge of his career, so we're happy with that," Neuqua Valley coach Todd Sutton said.
All kidding aside, and if you'll pardon the pun, the Wildcats (11-4, 2-2) scratched and and clawed their way to within 58-52 with 40 seconds left, thanks to one of Dean's layups and a pair of free throws by senior guard Kurt Lomuntad.
But there just wasn't enough time. Threat canned two freebies of his own with 10 seconds to go to salt this one away.
Waubonsie Valley got a strong night from its bench mob with 11 points and 4 boards. Junior guard Shoi Rathi and junior forward Jackson Langendorf added 9 points apiece.
Senior forward Cole Vonnahme added 12 points and 5 rebounds -- 3 offensive -- for Neuqua Valley.