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Bryan LoLordo (12) of Naperville North tries to maintain control of the ball as he is double teamed by Stephen Williams and Nashid Puckett of Kenwood. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Naperville North coach Jeff Powers rang the bell, and his Huskies answered it.
After a disheartening loss to Riverside-Brookfield on Wednesday, the Huskies played a whale of a first quarter against Kenwood on Thursday and took care of business the rest of the way in a 61-53 win.
North (8-4) led 22-4 after a quarter of play.
“We were clicking, our shots were falling, and we were playing really good defense,” North’s Bryan LoLordo said. “Everything worked in the first quarter and we weren’t going to lose another game here. We wanted to show what we’re made of.”
North’s Derek Westman netted 10 of his game-high 17 points in the first quarter, Brendan Herbstritt (10 points) scored seven, and Anthony Rehayem (14 points) scored five.
“I thought Derek Westman came out with a fire in his belly and wasn’t going to let things happen the way they happened yesterday,” Powers said. “I thought Anthony did some good things early, too, and I think our freshman, Jelani McClain, is going to be a special player.”
The Huskies led 35-15 at halftime but Kenwood found another gear in the second half on both ends of the court, outscoring the Huskies in the third and fourth quarters. Kenwood’s Remy Price (15 points) spearheaded the effort.
With Kenwood hounding the ball defensively in the halfcourt, it wasn’t until there was a minute and 20 seconds left that the Huskies scored their first field goal of the fourth quarter, on a baseline drive by Westman.
But North also went 13-of-19 from the free throw line in the fourth, with LoLordo (11 points) going 6-of-6 from the line to ice the game, and Rehayem going 4-of-4 in the final quarter of play.
“At the beginning of the year I was struggling from the free throw line but then something clicked and I started hitting them,” LoLordo said. “We knew (Kenwood) would make a run at us and we just had to settle their run and get back to what was successful in the first half.”
“Bryan settled us down and got us back into our offense late in that game,” Powers said. “So I’m happier today. But we still have to work on our defense. “