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Diamond Thompson had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots and Meghan Waldron scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half as No. 9 Wheaton Warrenville South defeated Geneva 58-47 in Thursday’s second semifinal of the Naperville North/Benet Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament in Lisle.
Geneva (9-7) grabbed a 20-16 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first half after Waldron had to leave the game following a blow to the face, but Thompson kept WW South (12-2) close and Waldron returned in time to rebound her own errant shot with three seconds left and tie the game at 25-25 at intermission.
Thompson scored eight of her 12 points in the first half and had four of her six blocks before the break.
“I think this was one of my best games,” Thompson. “We came out ready to play. We were prepping all week getting ready for this game and we came out doing what we do in practice. Everybody has to step up (with the loss of Maggie Dansdill).”
Thompson controlled the paint and made life miserable for Geneva’s Sami Pawlak, who scored four of her six points after the 6-foot-4 Thompson left the game with just over two minutes remaining and the Tigers leading 52-33.
“I played against Sami a lot during the summer,” Thompson said. “I know her moves, turnaround jumper. I just tried to stay aggressive and get a hand in everyone’s face. No easy shots around the basket, and I think we did that tonight.”
Waldron fueled WW South’s 23-6 run to start the second half by making a pair of three-pointers and finding Olivia Linebarger at the top of the key for a three two minutes into the fourth quarter,
“We need Diamond’s presence both offensively and defensively,” WW South coach Rob Groehnke said. “If she can do that offensively, it will make life a lot easier for Sierra (Bisso) and Megan and everybody else.
“It’s great to see her do that,” the coach added. “But now she’s got to keep backing that up. It’s consistency…that’s what we’re looking for.”
Bisso scored 11 points for WW South including three three-pointers in the first half. LInebarger added 13 points.
Sophomore Abby Novak scored 16 points for Geneva. Morgan Seberger and Kelly Gordon each had eight points and Sydney Santos added five.
“We clearly can’t have quarters like that (third quarter) when you’re playing Wheaton Warrenville South or any good team for that matter,” Geneva coach Sarah Meadows said. “We missed a bunch of good shots.
“We preached the last two days, you can’t have letdowns especially after we fought so hard in the first half,” she added.