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Naperville Central girls basketball coach Andy Nussbaum (left) celebrates with Redhawk players Laura Dierking, Madison O'Flynn (10), Jamie Cuny, and Victoria Trowbridge (right) after winning the Naperville Tip-Off Tournament championship. | Jon Cunningham
Naperville Central’s girls basketball team invited some of its neighbors over for the Thanksgiving holiday and then treated them inhospitably.
The Redhawks went undefeated in their annual Holiday Tip-off Tournament, capping a five-game sweep with Saturday’s 61-54 win over Metea Valley for the championship, a victory that came with the Redhawks ace post player Victoria Trowbridge on the bench with foul trouble for nearly half the game.
“This is a good win for us,” said Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum after his team put in a strong second half. “Metea Valley is a very good team. But, we’re starting to play as a team. I’m so pleased that we can be 6-0 at this point.”
In the first half of Saturday’s game, the Redhawks and the Mustangs exchanged the lead numerous times with Metea mounting a nine-point run to take a 27-23 halftime lead.
The Mustangs were ahead 29-26 early in the third period when Trowbridge picked up her fourth foul and was forced to sit.
Metea still led by three a few minutes later when the Redhawks put together an 11-point run to take a 43-35 lead into the final period.
Cierra Stanciel of Naperville Central scored 11 of her 12 points in that period and came up with several key steals that resulted in easy baskets. She had eight steals for the night and hit a banked three-pointer after a steal at the buzzer to end the period.
“My role is to play as a team player on the court and get a lot of steals,” Stanciel said. “I play with a lot of emotion but I still have to learn to get my emotions level. It was scary when Victoria got into foul trouble, but we can bring other kids in to help us out.”
In the final period, the Mustangs (4-2) managed to get to within 53-52 before a basket and a pair of free throws by Shannon Ryan and a putback by Laura Dierking put the game out of reach.
Jamie Cuny led the Redhawks with 19 points including five three-pointers. Ryan finished with 13 with three three-pointers.
“We played great throughout the tournament and finished strong,” Cuny said. “Everyone stepped up.”
Metea Valley’s Lori Obendorf grabbed a game-high 16 boards and led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points. Bria Walker scored 12 on four three-pointers and Jenny Voytell added 10.
“We’re a young team and it shows at times,” Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas said. “In the first half we were very composed. We controlled the tempo and the game on both offense and defense. And then for the second game in a row we became very uncomposed. There was a lack of communication on our part and a lack of team defense in the second half. We beat ourselves. We have some new kids and they’re learning the system and learning each other. We still have some growing pains to go through.”
In an earlier game Benet (4-1) defeated Providence 58-48 with Christen Prasse leading the scoring with 16 points.