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Meghan Waldron (top) of Wheaton Warrenville South goes over Laura Dierking of Naperville Central to scoop up a loose ball. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

Good things happen when the ball is in Meghan Waldron’s hands.

Waldron scored 19 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, including nine in overtime, as No. 11 Wheaton Warrenville South rallied from a 39-30 deficit late in the third quarter to defeat Naperville Central 64-59 Tuesday in Naperville.

“The ball needs to be in her hands,” WW South coach Rob Kroehnke said. “Good things happen when the ball’s in her hands. We know that she can pass and find her teammates. Now she needs to take the initiative and make people guard her.”

Waldron, who also had 19 rebounds, three assists and three steals, did not mind playing the role of facilitator in the first half for the Tigers (6-2, 3-0 DuPage Valley).

“I was off that first half, but I love my teammates,” she said. “Sierra [Bisso] made big shots. Maggie [Dansdill] had a lot of good shots. Everybody works hard on this team. I don’t always have to play my greatest because I have my teammates around me.”

Bisso, who finished with 10 points but scored just one point after halftime, buried three three-pointers in the first half including one with 3:49 remaining in the second quarter that staked the Tigers to a 24-14 lead.

But Naperville Central’s 5-8 junior guard Shannon Ryan buried a three-pointer with 1:17 left in the first half that was part of a 25-6 Redhawks’ run capped by Jamie Cuny’s three with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.

Ryan had 18 points to lead Naperville Central before exiting with her fifth foul just 40 seconds into the overtime.

“Shannon had a great game,” Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum said. “But losing her defensively was the real issue. She did a real nice job guarding Waldron. It was a great game. We said it would be a great game. I would’ve liked to have won, but it was entertaining high school basketball game.”

Both teams had chances to win in regulation. Waldron missed a little runner from the left baseline with 19.9 seconds left, and a short shot in the lane by Naperville Central’s Victoria Trowbridge bounced off the back of the rim.

In overtime, Naperville Central took its last lead at 54-53 on a three-pointer from reserve forward Mary Buttgereit with 3:30 remaining. But Waldron scored twice within a span of 18 seconds to give WW South the lead for good at 60-56 with two minutes left.

Dansdill added 13 points and Olivia Linebarger had 11 for WW South. Trowbridge had 14 points and seven rebounds and sophomore guard Cierra Stanciel added 12 points for Naperville Central.

“We got ourselves into a little trouble defensively in the second half, and when you let that team take the lead and control the tempo in their gym, they’re tough,” Kroehnke said. “But what an effort by girls to come back.

“I think Meghan understands now the ball needs to be in her hands,” the coach added. “She needs to go to the basket and finish. If she can do that, it’s good to make everyone else’s job a lot easier. We just need to tighten up our defense and keep rebounding and we’ll be fine.”

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