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Naperville North's Westman Derek (1) scores and is fouled by Plainfield South's Shawn Goff at Naperville North in Naperville, IL on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | Sean King~For Sun-Times Media
Naperville North’s Derek Westman came up a little short on a dunk attempt early in Tuesday’s nonconference game against Plainfield South, but his teammates didn’t give him any grief about it.
That’s because the dunk was just about the only thing Westman missed. The 6-3 senior scored in a variety of ways en route to a career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds as the host Huskies improved to 5-2 with a 68-55 victory.
“I’ve always told them if I got an opportunity to try and dunk it I would,” said Westman, who has never dunked in a varsity game. “Next time I think I’ll make it. I told myself I’d dunk one time in a varsity game, so I’ll keep trying to do it until I make it.”
Westman made 9-of-13 shots from the floor and 3-of-3 from the line in a great all-around effort that also saw him get four steals and three assists. He opened the scoring with a three-pointer and, after Plainfield South’s James Hill tied it with a trey of his own, scored the next two baskets.
Westman finished the first quarter with 12 points as the Huskies (5-2) pulled ahead 22-13.
“[My mindset] was keep going, don’t let the [missed dunk] get to you,” Westman said. “I thought it more funny than depressing, so I was able to just keep going.”
Even Naperville North coach Jeff Powers laughed it off.
“He’s such an incredible, hard-working kid,” Powers said. “He leaves it all on the floor every night. He’s had a lot of double-doubles but never anything like that.”
Westman wasn’t alone in torching the Plainfield South defense. Bryan LoLordo had 10 points and three assists and seven other players scored for the Huskies, who beat the Cougars (2-6) down the floor and made shot after shot.
The hosts made 10-of-13 shots in the third quarter as they outscored the Cougars 26-12 to extend a 35-22 halftime lead to 61-34. Westman had seven points in the period and LoLordo, JP Riley and Brendan Herbstritt all went 2-for-2.
The Huskies finished 26-for-48 from the floor, including 16-of-19 in the second half, doing it despite resting their starters for half of the fourth quarter.
“This is a really good shooting team,” Powers said. “If you leave us open we’re going to drill them. The hard thing is there’s so many guys that can shoot the ball on this team.”
Riley made all three of his shots to finish with eight points for Naperville North. Herbstritt added seven points, Anthony Rehayen had six and Zack Tuxhorn five as the hosts beat the Cougars at their own game.
“We try to push the ball,” Westman said. “We’re rather not run our half-court sets. We’re a small team. We’re more fast and we’ve got to use that more than anything else.”
Alonzo Garrett led Plainfield South with 22 points, though 13 of them came in the fourth quarter after the game had been decided. Shawn Goff added 10 points and six boards.