Waubonsie Valley’s boys basketball team could not be playing any better at the most important time of the season.
The duo of Jared Brownridge and Bryan Jefferson were dynamic and instrumental during the Warriors’ 66-58 victory against St. Charles East in the regular-season finale for both Thursday night in Aurora.
The contest featured the third-place squads from each division of the Upstate Eight Conference, with Waubonsie representing the Valley and St. Charles East representing the River.
Brownridge and Jefferson combined for 57 points as the Warriors won for seventh straight time and for the 11th in their past 12 games with postseason play set to begin next week.
“I think we (combined for that many points) once or twice before,” said Brownridge, who had 35 points. “I’m not sure how many times, but I am thinking at least once. I’ve been playing with him for a long time, so we know how to play with each other really well.”
The duo scored 30 of Waubonsie’s 31 points in the second half and combined for all 18 in the final quarter.
“As long as we win and everyone does their job they can score 2 or 100 points,” Waubonsie Valley coach Steve Weemer said. “Those two are playing really well right now and our team understands that.”
Waubonsie (20-7) led by six points at halftime, but the Saints (15-11) came out in the third quarter in a 1-3-1 zone defense and it really disrupted the Warriors, slowing the pace and containing Waubonsie in the halfcourt.
The Saints used this opportunity and Dom Adduci’s hot shooting to pull even at 40 with 2:19 remaining in the quarter. Adduci scored 22.
Weemer called a timeout and the Warriors responded by attacking the gaps in the zone, which helped their spacing and allowed Brownridge to make a pair of 3-pointers followed by a driving basket by Jefferson to push the Warriors’ lead back to 48-40.
“We did a great job to battle back,” Saints coach Patrick Woods said. “Unfortunately, we allowed them to get those two 3-pointers in a row, which was a momentum breaker.”
Waubonsie’s run forced St. Charles East out of its zone.
The Saints managed to pull as close as three points in the early stages of the fourth quarter before Waubonsie finished off the win.
Both schools will turn their attention to postseason play as they get after it on Tuesday and each could be facing a district rival depending on Monday’s outcomes. St. Charles East has the potential to see St. Charles North again, and Waubonsie will play either East Aurora or Metea Valley on Tuesday at Oswego East.
“We are playing pretty well and we would like to build on that,” Weemer said. “Now if you let up, you are going home.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.