Thursday night's 19-9 win by the Naperville North boys water polo team over visiting Waubonsie Valley occurred at an annual key point in the schedule.
It's spring break time and a good opportunity for area teams to evaluate what has happened so far in the season as competition is halted until after the break.
For the 11-0 Huskies, ranked No. 1 in the state in one poll, they have made good use of team depth, especially on offense.
Nolan Roberts and Drake McClure paced Naperville North with 5 goals each. Gianmarco Duin had 3 and Garrett Nash 2.
"We have a lot more balance. Everyone shoots and everyone scores. We have so many options on offense," Roberts said.
The Huskies took a 5-2 lead after the first quarter with the help of Duin's 3 goals and pretty much operated its offense at will. Waubonsie's Bradin Krug closed the opening period's scoring with his first of 4 goals.
The second quarter was a different story as the Warriors (5-8) opened their offensive attack and tightened their defense. Each team tallied 2 goals apiece and the Huskies led 7-4 at halftime.
"In the second quarter we were moving the ball," said Waubonsie coach Matthew Niemeier. "We were getting proper position on offensive drives and working for ejections."
The third quarter saw Naperville North return to running its offense at will. It opened a bigger lead with 7 goals in the third period and led 14-6 after it.
Naperville North assistant coach Lew Kasten said the third quarter was a case of the Huskies continuing to refine their ability to make adjustments when the game calls for it. That included getting the players separated enough to pass the ball around, looking for the good shot and using the team's depth.
"We needed to create separation and get in other players off the bench," he said. "We needed to create opportunities to shoot. You have to play smart. If things aren't working, you need to change your strategy and react to that."
Also scoring for the Huskies were Andrew Rocco, Joe Tomashek, David Holzer and B.D. Chapman. Naperville North resumes play April 10 with a home match against Naperville Central.
"The chemistry of the team is there, and the starting lineup is clicking and working. We're centered around four or five players and that makes a difference," Kasten said.
As for the Warriors, Nathan Morris had 2 goals with Kay Anderssen, Cameron Steele and Mitch Kroening each tallied one.
Waubonsie is at the Niles West Varsity Tournament on Friday and Saturday before starting spring break. It will return to action April 12 by hosting Hinsdale South.
Niemeier is pleased with how the Warriors have stopped counterattacks on defense this season. But said the team's own counterattack needs work.
"With our offensive counterattack, we run it great sometimes. Other games, it's nonexistent," he said.