Girls Basketball: Naperville Central rides big second half to beat Glenbard NorthNaperville Central's Victoria Trowbridge pushes past Glenbard North defender Katie Wisniewski at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ill., on Thursday, Jan 5, 2012.
| Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 5, 2012 10:53PM
During the first half of Thursday’s DuPage Valley Conference showdown, Glenbard North appeared to have all the momentum in its favor.
Things quickly changed in the second half, however, as host Naperville Central outscored the Panthers (8-8, 3-2) 15-7 in the third quarter and 35-18 for the second half overall en route to a 53-38 victory.
The Redhawks (9-7, 3-1) rode the hot hand of senior guard Jill D’Amico (team-high 15 points off the bench) in the third, as she drained two three-pointers in a rally that saw Naperville Central turn a 27-25 Glenbard North lead into a 33-27 Redhawks advantage after three periods.
That D’Amico helped spark the pivotal run was no surprise to teammate Emma Donahue (14 points, seven rebounds).
“She always does,” Donahue said. “She just puts a little spark in us. She’ll get a little push here or something like that to get us all fired up and she just creates this great atmosphere on the court, saying ‘Push it, push it, go!’ And she always brings the intensity that we need.”
Donahue also brought the intensity her team needed, scoring 10 points in the second half after netting just four in the first half. Her scorer’s mentality took over.
“First half, I knew I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, and you just have to know when to step it up,” she said. “And I was hoping to step it up in the second half, and I thought I definitely did.”
Donahue finished a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line.
Six-foot junior forward Victoria Trowbridge finished with a team-high-tying seven boards.
“The first half, we were a little bit raggedy but I thought we picked it up in the second half,” Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum said. “Defensively, I was pretty pleased with our effort in the second half. I did think we finally started getting (the ball) inside a little bit and that freed us up for some open looks on threes. Sarah Lang (two three-pointers) and Jill (D’Amico) both hit some threes and I thought Emma (Donahue) did a nice job on the inside.”
Things weren’t always so good for the Redhawks. In the first half, the Panthers seized an 18-13 lead on a Brianna Harn (team-high 14 points) 18-foot bank shot. That shot came shortly after Glenbard North was credited with a three on a shot that appeared to come from inside the arc.
The Panthers held on for a 20-18 lead at the half. Then, Glenbard North came unglued.
A Redhawks steal and a Jamie Cuny layup made it 30-27, and a Cuny three in the fourth gave the Redhawks a 40-31 lead with under four minutes remaining. Naperville Central never looked back.
“I’d like some players to be a little more assertive when the game’s on the line, getting to the rim, drawing some fouls,” Glenbard North coach John Chamberlain said. “Who’s going to take over at the end of games? This far into the season, you’d like to have that established. I think Bri was trying to do that but I need a little more from my post players.”
Donahue was recognized before the game for reaching the 1,000-point milestone back in December against Waubonsie Valley. She currently sits in ninth place all-time in scoring for Naperville Central girls, and is one of 10 players ever to score at least 1,000 career points.