Nicky Lopez was a jack-of-all-trades and Rob Suntken was on target from long-range as Naperville Central cruised to a 69-32 win in a DuPage Valley Conference game at West Chicago on Friday night.
Suntken buried five three-pointers among his game-high 21 points and he outscored the Wildcats on his own in the first half, scoring 16 points before intermission as the Redhawks led 40-13.
“When you’re on, you’re on, and you feel like you just can’t miss,” Suntken said. “Once you get a few going, you get in a rhythm and keep riding the hot hand.”
West Chicago (4-13, 0-7 in DVC play) led 6-3 to start the game but Naperville Central (12-6, 5-2) earned a 15-2 scoring edge to the end of the first quarter, and a 20-5 edge in the second.
Those scoring bursts were spearheaded by a Redhawks’ defense that forced turnovers and stymied the Wildcats’ offense.
“We came off a tough loss Tuesday night (58-56 to Plainfield East) and weren’t happy with the way we played,” Central coach Pete Kramer said. “We tried to take [West Chicago’s John] Konchar out of the game, and we did that. And when the ball is going in the basket the way Rob was shooting it tonight, it makes it easy to do a lot of other things, both on defense and on offense, and we shared the ball tonight.”
Senior guard Lopez finished with 15 points, six rebounds, and three steals, in an outstanding all-around performance.
“Nicky has a lot of energy,” Suntken said. “He’s quick and he gets after it on defense. He does a little bit of everything.”
Ryan Anthony finished with nine assists for Central while teammate Nick Czarnowski led the team with seven rebounds. Ryan Orr led West Chicago with eight points, Jimmy Rizzo scored seven, and Konchar finished with six points for the Wildcats.
“Everyone was shooting the ball well and distributing it well tonight,” Suntken said. “We’ve had games where everyone scores a lot of points and it just doesn’t matter who it is. Whoever’s hot is hot.”