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Waubonsie Valley senior Jared Brownridge scores on a breakaway layup Saturday against South Elgin. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media
South Elgin had a hard time hanging with Waubonsie Valley in November when it was at full strength, so the Storm knew it faced a tough task in the rematch with leading scorer Darius Wells sidelined by a left foot injury.
As was the case in the first meeting, the Storm simply couldn’t keep up with the Warriors, who cruised to a 60-32 Upstate Eight Valley road win.
Santa Clara recruit Jared Brownridge scored a game-high 18 points for Waubonsie Valley (12-6, 4-3), which was coming off an uplifting nonconference win against No. 18 Naperville Central earlier in the week. Bryan Jefferson added 14 points and three steals, all of which came in the first half as the Warriors built a 39-15 lead.
“Coming off that Central game we wanted to make sure we kept our winning streak going leading into more conference play,” Brownridge said. “We made sure we played our basketball throughout the whole game.”
Wells missed six games for South Elgin (5-13, 0-7) in December with an injury to the top of his left foot. He returned for four games at the Jacobs Tournament, helping South Elgin win three times, but he hasn’t practiced since and will go for an MRI on Monday because he now has discomfort in the bottom of his left foot.
The nagging injury adds another layer of frustration for the Storm during what has been a difficult season. Freshman guard Matt Smith returned from an eight-game injury absence Saturday, but he was one of several South Elgin players who got into early foul trouble.
The Storm committed 20 turnovers and never found much of an offensive rhythm as it attempted only 27 shots in the game. Matt McClure led the way with 10 points and Ryne Lundy added eight points and five rebounds.
“We had 12 turnovers between our starting guards,” South Elgin coach Chaz Taft said. “We just can’t turn the ball over.”
Waubonsie Valley led 18-6 after the first quarter and blew things open with a 13-0 run in the second quarter that made the score 33-8 with 3:26 left in the half. The Warriors led 57-25 going into the fourth before emptying the bench.
Dylan Warden had nine points and Nick Karkazis added eight points and three steals for Waubonsie Valley.
“I wanted our guys to make sure we executed early and smothered them,” Waubonsie Valley coach Steve Weemer said. “South Elgin is young and beat up, but we’ve got to take care of our business and continue to play hard.”
WAUBONSIE VALLEY 60, SOUTH ELGIN 32
Waubonsie Valley (12-6, 4-3)
Brownridge 5 5-5 18, Jefferson 5 4-4 14, Warden 3 1-1 9, Karkazis 3 0-0 8, Cordes 3 1-2 7, Sutton 0 2-2 2, Dehaan 0 2-2 2, Medrans 0 0-2 0. Totals 19 15-18 60.
South Elgin (5-13, 0-7)
McClure 4 1-2 10, Lundy 2 4-4 8, Smith 2 2-3 6, Grant 2 2-4 6, Winsel 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 9-13 32.
WV 18 21 18 3 -- 60
SE 6 9 10 7 -- 32
Three-point goals -- WV: 7 (Brownridge 3, Karkazis 2, Warden 2). SE: 1 (McClure). Fouled out -- WV: None. SE: Smith.