The message was simple.
Inside the Glenbard North girls locker room coach John Chamberlain had written 2005 on the board, signifying the last time the Panthers had beaten Naperville Central.
That changed Saturday afternoon when the Panthers stunned the Redhawks 37-36 in DuPage Valley Conference basketball action in Naperville.
“When you are only winning against them once a decade — it doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Chamberlain said about the victory. “This was huge — absolutely huge.”
The win did not come without last-second drama.
Naperville Central had the game’s final shot, inbounding the ball from under Glenbard North’s basket with 2.9 seconds remaining.
Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum called timeout and drew up a play, but the Redhawks’ attempt bounced off the rim as time expired, setting off a wild celebration for the Panthers.
“It was a little cleaner (look) than I wanted, but all’s well that ends well,” Chamberlain said.
The Panthers (10-12, 7-4) came out aggressive and took an early 12-3 lead, but the Redhawks (21-5, 7-4) started to turn up the heat as they pressed and started switching zone defenses, which gave Glenbard North fits. The Panthers committed 19 turnovers to the Redhawks’ 10.
Naperville Central outscored Glenbard North 19-12 in the second and third quarters to regain the lead.
A Cierra Stanciel free throw with 6:17 left in the fourth quarter gave the hosts a 31-24 lead, but that is when the Panthers started to chip away. Baskets by Katie Wisniewski, Laila Pickens, Caitlyn Deegan, Amy Falson and a 3-pointer by Deegan capped an 11-0 run to give Glenbard North a 35-31 edge with 2:20 left.
“I’ve never made a 3-pointer in a varsity game and it felt so good,” Deegan said about her 3-pointer, the only one the Panthers made. “It was great to see us not give in when they made their run. We knew we could do it. We kept on each other that we could win this game.”
Nussbaum was befuddled by his team’s inability to score as Naperville Central was held to less than 40 points for the second time in three days following Thursday’s 44-39 loss at conference leader Wheaton Warrenville South. The Redhawks shot 15 of 52 from the floor and made 2-of-18 3-pointers against Glenbard North.
“We have not been good offensively,” Nussbaum said. “If you allow 44 and 37 points, you expect to win two games. They made shots that they had to make. They did a nice job. If we don’t start playing better, we’re going to be turning in our equipment and we will be done.”
Naperville Central’s Victoria Trowbridge led all scorers with 16 points.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.