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Naperville Central's Ryan Antony races down court while being defended by Wheaton Warrenville South's Joe Waber in Naperville on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
It doesn’t take anything special to realize what makes Naperville Central go.
Getting his team off to a strong start with six first-quarter points, junior center Nick Czarnowski got his team off to the good start it needed.
Leading wire-to-wire, Naperville Central cruised to a 60-35 victory over WW South Friday night in Naperville.
Extending its lead to 30 points midway through the fourth quarter, nine different players scored for Naperville Central, paced by the double-double Czarnowski turned in with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In the midst of getting more and more active within the offense as he continues to get healthier while battling tendinitis, Czarnowski scored his team’s first two baskets, serving as a prelude to the night to come for him and the rest of his teammates.
“I’m definitely trying to make a good effort of crashing the boards and making it easier for me,” Czarnowski said. “I’m getting a few garbage points. I’m getting some offensive rebounds, putting them back in and just making myself a threat out there.”
Czarnowski was joined in double figures by junior forward Austin Pauga, who finished with 10.
“I feel like we were really flowing out there (Friday) night. Everybody was shooting, everybody was scoring … We had nine guys score and no one was being selfish,” Czarnowski said. “Everyone was playing team basketball out there and that’s when we play our best.”
Talking about the increased depth of his team coming into the year, Redhawks coach Pete Kramer got solid contributions off his bench.
Senior forward Matt Auld led the Redhawks with seven points at the half, while junior guard Matt Bennett chipped in with a pair of three-pointers as the Redhawks went into halftime up 35-19.
Auld and Bennett combined to finish the night with 15 points off the bench for Naperville Central (5-3, 1-2 DuPage Valley).
“I thought Matt Auld came into the game … him and Bennett both came into the game and sparked us early on,” Kramer said. “Auld got a three-point play and just their activity defensively. They always play hard. Those are the kind of guys you want to lead off the bench — to give you energy.”
Jumping to an 8-0 lead, the Redhawks eventually pushed that lead to 13-3 as Czarnowski and Pauga combined to score 10 of the Redhawks’ 16 first-quarter points.
Senior guard Michael Kramer, who had a team-high 13 points for the Tigers, all coming in the first half, helped bring his team to within three points late in the opening quarter with eight first-quarter points.
Michael Kramer would then help keep WW South (0-4, 0-3 DuPage Valley) to within six points at 23-17 with about three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half, but Naperville Central ended the half on a 12-2 run and was never seriously challenged again.
“We flat-out got outcoached, outplayed and give all the credit in the world to Naperville Central,” Tigers coach Bob Szorc said. “They kind of found themselves against us and it was from start to finish.”