Boys Basketball: Waubonsie Valley narrowly edges out Neuqua ValleyWaubonsie Valley's Tyler Yanisch (3) goes after Neuqua Valley's Darien Miskel (22) on Tuesday December 7, 2011 at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 7, 2011 10:01PM
Neuqua Valley coach Todd Sutton looked over the stat sheet in his office Wednesday night and couldn’t help but be a little happy about his Wildcats’ effort against rival Waubonsie Valley.
Neuqua forced 18 turnovers, including eight in the first quarter, scored over 50 points and — early on at least — kept Warriors guard Jared Brownridge in check.
Unfortunately, what Sutton called his team’s best game of the season wasn’t quite enough as the Warriors outlasted the Wildcats 66-61.
Brownridge scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, and Waubonsie (6-1, 2-0) made it a two-possession game late thanks to a key block by Javeres Stewart (four blocks) and then again on a late offensive rebound by Brandon Malby (eight points).
Prior to both plays, Neuqua (3-4, 0-2) had drawn to 59-56 and 64-61 in the final 59 seconds. Stewart’s block of Darien Miskel (12 points) set up a Browridge-to-Malby basket to extend the lead. Malby then outfought several Wildcats to pull down a missed free throw by the Warriors’ Jack Cordes (eight points) to set up a Brownridge free throw that made it 65-61 with 13 seconds left.
“I told our guys in the locker room, there’s always a guy that has to step up depending what game it is,” Warriors coach Steve Weemer said. “As a team, I thought we played pretty well on the road. It’s a great win against a good team and a good program — we’re pleased.”
Brownridge was held scoreless until he hit a pull up three with six seconds remaining in the first quarter to cut Neuqua’s lead to 14-12. He then hit three more threes in the second quarter — one off a catch-and-shoot in the corner, another off a crossover, and then a buzzer-beater at the half where he split two defenders and then pulled up to give the Warriors a 32-29 lead.
“I know players are going to try to guard me good and tight, and me and the coaches have worked real hard on trying to get open so I have several moves to use so I’m not getting stuck,” the junior guard said. “It helped out.”
In a tight second half, it seemed whenever Neuqua pulled even or just ahead, there was Brownridge with a basket.
“We can’t guard him. Flat out. We just couldn’t guard him. Boatright-esque,” said Sutton, invoking the name of three-time Beacon-News Player of the Year and current University of Connecticut point guard Ryan Boatright.
Tyler Sutton led the Wildcats with 15 points. Pat Kenny added 11 points.