Boys Basketball: Defensive effort propels Naperville North to victoryNaperville North's Matt Stacho drives through the Wheaton Warrenville South defense for a layup on Friday December 9, 2011, at Naperville North High School. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 10, 2011 12:12AM
Spurred on by its defense, Naperville North recovered quite nicely to cruise to a 59-39 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South on Friday night in Naperville.
Failing to learn from the lesson that came with falling quickly behind Benet three nights earlier, the Huskies found themselves trailing 8-3 to the Tigers with just over five minutes gone in the first quarter.
Responding in a quicker fashion than Tuesday night, Naperville North (5-2, 2-0 DuPage Valley) concluded the first half on a 28-9 run to take a 31-17 lead into halftime.
While seniors Max Lewis and Kyle Lindberg sparked the run by combining for 18 of the 28 points, the Huskies made life miserable on the Tigers all night by forcing 15 turnovers and holding them to just 39 points, the Tigers’ second-lowest scoring output of the season.
“(We) brought some energy (during the run) and once we bring the energy, everything just falls into place from there,” Lewis said of the game’s critical run. “We know our stuff and when the energy comes, things turn out great for us.”
Ten different Huskies scored on the evening, led by Lewis’ game-high 18 points, as the team won its fourth straight game.
“It definitely helps when you know you can go out there and bust your butt for a short amount of time,” Lewis said of the team’s depth. “Somebody can come in right after you and just do the same role you were doing.”
While Naperville North coach Jeff Powers wasn’t very pleased with yet another slow start, he certainly was happy with the way his team responded, led by Lewis and Lindberg, who chipped in nine points.
“Kyle comes off the bench, he was the best player on the floor there for a long, hard time. He and Max just made plays together, so it was kind of nice they both got in there,” Powers said. “And I think our guys are just finding out that you can play very, very hard when you know that there’s a guy behind you that’s gonna give you a blow and you’re gonna get back in there.”
Lewis’ exploits off the bench throughout the entire night followed up Matt Stacho’s second-half heroics against the Redwings on Tuesday, which saw him score all 11 of his points in the second half during the Huskies’ 44-40 victory.
Zach Zlabis led Wheaton Warrenville South (1-5, 0-2 DuPage Valley) with 12 points.