Waubonsie Valley's hot start continues with win at Naperville Central
Last year's finish on the very same hardwood was like a punch to the gut, but it wasn't going to happen again this time.
With that last-second loss very much still on their minds, Waubonsie Valley returned to Naperville Central Friday night and got revenge with an impressive 64-47 defeat of the host Redhawks to stay perfect at 5-0 on the season while opening the DuPage Valley Conference slate with a statement road win.
Six-foot-6 senior center Jackson Langendorf led the way with a season-high 24 points, but it was a total team effort for the Warriors, who led 16-8 after one quarter and built a 20-point lead at the intermission.
"They beat us twice last year and right there James Jopes hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer [for Central]," Langendorf said while pointing at the spot on the court where Naperville Central's game-winner took place last winter. "That one hurt a little bit but it was nice to get it back and start conference 1-0 this year."
Langendorf scored 6 points in the first quarter as the visitors used a 12-2 close to lead 16-8. He then busted out for 12 more points in the second quarter with a variety of scores, including a 3-pointer, drives to the rim and a trio of free throws as the Warriors led 39-19 at the intermission.
The quick, experienced Waubonsie Valley team protected the lead from there and avenged last year's losses to the Redhawks with a solid effort on both ends of the floor.
"We're pretty excited," said Langendorf. "We're pretty experienced and most all of our rotation players have at least one year of varsity experience and that says a lot because we know what to expect."
Naperville Central (3-3, 0-1), which scored 96 points in Tuesday's win over Glenbard East, was in foul trouble much of the game and struggled to get the offense clicking against the Warriors' pressure defense.
"They've got a lot of quickness," Redhawks coach Peter Kramer said of the Warriors. "[Lagendorf] is a returning all-conference player. He's solid. He hurt us and our youth showed a little bit tonight. Our big guys are young, but I thought Ross DeZur gave us some energy tonight."
DeZur, a junior center, led Naperville Central with 17 points and 7 rebounds on Friday, with Jack First adding 8 points.
"They're a good team but we've got to do a better job next time," DeZur said. "Always room for improvement especially at the start of the year. They were good at shooting; they've got a good defense and they're good on the boards too. But we couldn't hit our free throws tonight and we've got to pay better."
Warriors second-year head coach Andrew Schweitzer is quite content with the experienced roster he has to work with. "I really like how we played in the first quarter on. I thought we played a lot of really good team basketball - a lot of one-more passes which led to great offense," he said. "Defensively, I think our pressure, that's kind of our backbone, our DNA, we need that against anyone we play. It helps generate a lot of things for us."
Forward Eric Chtilianov added 10 points and Tyreek Coleman 8 for a balanced Waubonsie Valley attack that saw 10 different players score in the game.