Waubonsie Valley holds Neuqua to 27 points
Jackson Langendorf called it a missed opportunity.
Early in the fourth quarter on Friday night at Neuqua Valley, the Waubonsie Valley senior forward jumped the passing lane, stole the ball and started dribbling down the court toward a wide-open basket.
Just as the 6-foot-6 Langendorf rose up for a possible highlight-reel, thundering dunk, he was fouled by a Neuqua Valley player to spoil his chance for a memorable moment.
"I wanted that one because I had the steal and felt it was my best opportunity," Langendorf said. "I really wanted it, against Neuqua Valley in a rivalry game. But if that's the worst thing, it was a pretty good night."
Indeed, for Langendorf and Waubonsie Valley, it was a good night.
The Warriors held Neuqua Valley to under double-digits in each quarter to record a resounding 49-27 win in DuPage Valley Conference play.
The Warriors (9-7, 2-2) dominated the game from the opening tip, scoring the first 5 points while relying on a balanced scoring attack. Tyreek Coleman buried 3 3-pointers for 11 points, Langendorf and Treshawn Blissett both finished with 10 points.
Langendorf fueled the Warriors with his all-around play, tossing passes to open teammates, attacking the glass and playing solid defense.
"The biggest thing is we passed the ball and played like a unit the best we have all year," Langendorf said. "We defended and rebounded well. We had a great week of practice that set it up. Offensively, it was mostly moving the ball and trusting each other. Defensively, it was effort and using our fundamentals that we worked on all week. We really needed a bounce-back win. We've been really inconsistent, and a game to remind us how good we can be."
The 6-foot-5 Blissett also had a play to forget, when he shot a second-quarter airball on a wing 3-pointer. He bounced back, like his teammates, to hit several key shots to stop any potential threats by the Wildcats (13-4, 3-1).
"It was a great win," Blissett said. "It felt great to play as a family again. It's been a roller-coaster of a season, but hopefully this win shows we're legit and can play with anybody."
Coleman played a solid game, helping bring up the ball and distribute it for assists. Coleman said the Warriors earned a quality win on the road.
"I think we played well tonight, crashing the boards and made some good passes," Coleman said.
Waubonsie Valley coach Andrew Schweitzer said his team is on an upswing. The Warriors won their first six games before hitting a speed bump, but Friday's win could be a lift-off point.
"Neuqua Valley is a good team and play great help-defense," he said. "We came in ready and these guys played their tails off. Defensively, I can't ask anything more of our kids."
The Wildcats struggled scoring points, tallying just 8 in the first quarter and fell into a 23-13 hole at halftime. Junior guard Luke Kinkade scored 9 points to lead the Wildcats, who were held to 12 points in the second half.