Girls Basketball: West Aurora ousts Waubonsie Valley
By Chris Walker For Sun-Times Media February 11, 2013 10:06PM
West Aurora's Kyler Robinson shoots over Waubonsie Valley's Morgan Grastorf (right) and Kendall O'Sullivan. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 11:03PM
It’s been a rough few weeks for West Aurora, and it’s been an especially long season for Waubonsie Valley.
The two teams met up in Monday’s Class 4A Lemont Regional quarterfinal with their respective seasons on the line. The Blackhawks took the hardwood having lost six in a row along with their top player, while the Warriors entered having won two straight, which also accounts for half their wins this winter.
The Blackhawks opened up the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 24-14 lead and never allowed the Warriors to cut the lead to less than six points the rest of the way in a 42-31 victory.
West Aurora will face Plainfield East at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
“At halftime we talked about how we had to come out strong,” West Aurora’s Taylor Jacobsen said. “We put our heads together and made sure we wouldn’t lose this game.”
Jacobsen attacked the basket on a handful of occasions and was rewarded with three layups. It also opened things up a bit where Abriya Zeitz (16 points, 7 rebounds) won the battle in the paint.
“I like to be the spark because there are times when nothing is happening,” Jacobsen said. “Sometimes you’ve got to do something to get the team started and once you do, someone else gets going.”
One person who didn’t get much going was Waubonsie Valley’s Ryaen Johnson. The 6-foot-2 junior got in foul trouble early, sat out the second quarter and fouled out with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter. Johnson finished with six points and eight rebounds but never found a rhythm.
“We’ve struggled offensively this season and it’s been a weakness of ours,” Waubonsie Valley coach Dave Owles said. “When you’re not scoring enough points it put a lot of pressure on you defensively.”
Owles implemented a 1-3-1 defense to try to rattle the Blackhawks, but it didn’t work out.
“Give them credit,” he said. “We tried to get them to turn it over, but they handled the pressure really well.”
West Aurora (10-15) has struggled without Elizabeth Skaggs in the lineup. The Blackhawks received valuable minutes off the bench from 6-foot-2 sophomore Kyler Robinson (4 points, 6 rebounds).
“We did a really good job plugging the middle and boxing out and I thought Kyler did a nice job of filling a spot,” West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl said. “We tried to shut (Johnson) down and I thought she helped match her with size.”
Emma Rigby led Waubonsie Valley (4-22) with seven points. Senior Morgan Grastorf added seven rebounds.