No one will question Naperville North’s ability to make life difficult on opponents with a myriad of offensive weapons that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
But defensively is where the Huskies took command in s 53-32 victory on Friday over Glenbard East in Naperville.
Naperville North was able to keep the Rams off the scoreboard for the first six-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter, and Glenbard East could only muster three points in the period.
Senior Anthony Rehayem had 10 first-half points while seniors Mike Laurenzo and Jayson Winick combined for 11 first-half points as the Huskies went into halftime with a 15-point lead.
“In the second quarter, we just basically shut them down completely on defense,” Winick said. “I mean, we pressured them great. Sometimes we would pressure them hard. Sometimes we would pull it back into a softer defense, just force them to take tough shots and don’t give them any second chances. That’s why they only scored three points in that quarter.”
Winick and Rehayem led the way for Naperville North by scoring 19 and 13 points, respectively, while sophomore guard Jelani McClain was held to two points.
Fourteen of Winick’s game-high 19 points came in the second half.
“Usually, always, I like to pass first. I like to give my other teammates some points first and then after I do that, lanes usually start open up to me. I get some open shots. My teammates always do a good job of hitting me,” he said. “I do a good job of hitting them when they’re open. It really just works together. We know what we like to do. We know our strengths. We know our weaknesses. We just get each other the ball in position to score.”
Winners of seven in a row, Naperville North (16-8, 8-4 DuPage Valley) is still in the DVC race with remaining games against West Aurora and Naperville Central.
West Aurora and Glenbard North are tied atop the conference with two games left after the Panthers held serve at home against the Redhawks, 59-57.
The Huskies are a drastically different team from the one that dropped earlier meetings against those two by a combined 41 points.
“Our goal is to just keep getting better every day right now and we are,” Powers said. “We get better in practice and we’ve been getting better every game.”
Glenbard East (4-20, 0-12 DuPage Valley) was led by senior JaRon Hall’s nine points.