Boys Basketball: Waubonsie Valley squeaks past South ElginWaubonsie Valley's Bryan Jefferson powers through two South Elgin defenders during their game at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora on Friday, December 2 , 2011. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2011 11:10PM
Over the course of a long basketball season, not every game is going to be pretty.
Waubonsie Valley’s boys basketball team adopted the mantra of the 1983 Chicago White Sox in its 45-42 win over South Elgin in the Upstate Eight Valley opener: Winnin’ Ugly.
The Warriors were forced into a plodding, methodical affair, which is contrary to their penchant for fast-paced action.
“The bottom line is we won,” Waubonsie coach Steve Weemer said. “Sometimes you have to win ugly, and that’s the bottom line. We won. I told the guys that we’re not going to watch tape of it tomorrow. We’re going to forget about it and go play Naperville Central [Saturday]. Let’s get back to playing our style. We’re not a slow it down, half court team.”
Waubonsie Valley (5-0, 1-0) used a 14-0 run that spanned the majority of the second quarter to help take a 23-12 lead into the break. South Elgin (4-2, 0-1) turned the ball over seven times in the quarter. That and a flurry of foul calls flustered the Storm in the first half.
“I thought we got a little emotional in the first half with some of those fouls on Jake [Maestranzi],” South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. “That got us rattled a little bit and got us out of our comfort zone and we fell behind by 11. That’s hard to come out of when you’re playing at Waubonsie. That’s tough.”
But the Storm stuck with it and started the third quarter with a 9-0 run, capped by one of Maestranzi’s three three-pointers in the game, to cut the lead to 23-21.
In the fourth, Waubonsie stretched the lead to six two times, but the pesky Storm would not relent. A Maestranzi three-pointer with three seconds left cut the lead to 44-42. After Waubonsie’s Jared Brownridge missed a free throw after that, a desperation heave from South Elgin’s Ryne Lundy hit the rim but didn’t fall, giving the win to Waubonsie.
“They slowed us down and played a half-court game and gave themselves a chance,” Weemer said. “They hit some great shots. Give them credit for playing until the buzzer went off. Hat’s off to them.”
Brownridge, an AAU teammate of Maestranzi, still managed game highs of 17 points and seven rebounds despite being hounded by South Elgin’s defense all night. Now he and the Warriors head to Naperville Central in search of a 6-0 start to the season.
“I couldn’t find rhythm, but we’ll bounce back tomorrow against Naperville Central,” Brownridge said. “We’re 5-0, that’s always good. We have to act like our record doesn’t matter and keep playing hard every day and not worry about the record.”