Naperville North completes sweep of DVC
Just like last year, the Naperville North girls basketball team went unbeaten in the DuPage Valley Conference after the Huskies knocked off Neuqua Valley 49-19 Thursday night in their final home game of the season.But now the program is looking to be very different from last season’s team now that the postseason has arrived. Last year Naperville North suffered an upset loss in the Class 4A regional semifinals to Plainfield Central, an outcome that this year’s team has not forgotten. The one-sided win over the Wildcats sends the 22-5 Huskies into the Yorkville regional Tuesday with a 10-game winning streak and a 10-0 showing in the DVC.“It felt really good. We’re very excited. We knew we wanted to play all four quarters and continuously keep our energy up,” said freshman Abby Drendel, who tallied 8 of her game-high 13 points as Naperville North stormed ahead 15-3 after one quarter. “This is the first big part for us going on. We’re hoping to get to state obviously.”But first things first. The third-seeded Huskies will open the playoffs against East Aurora on Tuesday and then look to claim the school’s first regional crown in some time, against either West Aurora or Yorkville in the finals.Huskies junior Greta Kampschroeder, who has played a huge role in the team’s back-to-back perfect conference championships, was all smiles. But like Drendel and the rest of her teammates, she expects bigger and better things in the state tournament.“It feels good to be undefeated two years in a row. I’m really proud of this team,” said Kampschroeder, who had 9 points and 6 rebounds in limited minutes against Neuqua Valley. “We had a mission coming into the season to go undefeated (in DVC) and it feels good to accomplish that goal. But we’re not done yet.”Neuqua Valley was missing junior Ellie Wisner, who was out with the flu, and fellow starter Jada Devine was on the court after suffering an ankle injury earlier and then she too had been slowed by the flu. The Huskies’ pressure defense was just too much as the hosts forced 18 Wildcats turnovers in the first half and led 33-7 at the break.“That’s always our goal,” Kampschroeder said after yet another fast start by her team. “Come out strong and with a lot of energy. That kind of throws teams off and we did a nice job with that tonight. It feels really good, but again, we’re not done yet.”The deep Huskies had nine players record steals in the game and 10 players scored for the league champs. Six-foot-2 center Claudia Gallegos paced the Wildcats with 6 points and Betsy George and Nisha Heneghan each connected on 3-pointers off the bench.“I said we need to be playing our best basketball right now. We have to keep the energy up and the intensity up. Neuqua is historically a really great program, so there’s no easy win. But tonight was fun. It was our last home game, so it was fun,” Naperville North coach Erin Colletti said.