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The formula was just right for Metea Valley on Friday night.
It took a little outside scoring from Bria Walker, big contributions in the paint from Lori Obendorf, drives to the bucket from Jenny Voytell and rebounding on both ends of the floor from Anna Petersen as Metea Valley beat Downers Grove South, 50-37, advancing to Saturday’s championship game in the Wolves Holiday Classic. Metea Valley will face host Oswego East at 7 p.m. for the tournament title.
“We’re well-balanced,” Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas said. “They know what their strengths are and when they bring that to the floor, they’re hard to beat.”
Metea Valley (13-3) took a modest 20-16 lead into the second half, but used a time-consuming 8-0 run to take a 28-16 lead more than midway through the third quarter. After only drawing a single foul in the first half, Metea Valley got more aggressive.
“We switched between our two offenses a little bit and started taking the ball to the basket,” Kalivas said. “In the first half, for some reason, we were just throwing the ball away and were a bit discombobulated.”
Downers Grove South (9-5) received three-pointers from Brittany Dietz (10 points) and Nicole Janowiak (eight points) to spark a 10-0 run late in the third quarter and into the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to pull within 32-30. That would be as close as the Mustangs would get.
“I just didn’t think we came out as ready as I had hoped,” Downers Grove South coach Ellen O’Brien said. “We played a little flat at the beginning and gave them a bit too much confidence and you can’t do that with a good team.”
Metea Valley answered Downers Grove South’s 10-0 run with a 12-0 run of its own to seal the game. Walker proved key both offensively and defensively during the stretch. After splitting a pair of free throws off an intentional foul, she swished a three-pointer via the ensuing inbounds pass.
“That definitely felt good,” Walker said. “We didn’t do everything we wanted to do in the first half but we definitely turned things up after halftime.”
Obendorf led Metea Valley with 16 points. Walker added 13 and Voytell had nine. Petersen controlled the glass, collecting five rebounds in each half to record a game-high 10.