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Metea Valley’s tourney win bittersweet

01/03/2013, 10:21pm CST
By Neil Shalin

The Dundee-Crown Christmas Tournament title was was huge for the Metea Valley girls basketball team, but the good feeling was far overshadowed by the injury loss of Anna Petersen.

It was a great victory for the Metea Valley girls basketball program, but the good feeling was far overshadowed by the injury loss of Anna Petersen, a solid all-around player and team leader.

In the third period of the championship game in which the Mustangs defeated host Oswego East 59-53, Petersen tore her ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Petersen, who is also a star on the softball team, will miss that season in the spring. The 6-foot-1 forward and shortstop will be going to Northwestern in the fall on a softball scholarship.

“Anna is irreplaceable for our team,” said Metea Valley basketball coach Kris Kalivas. “She’s a hard-working kid who gets 8-10 rebounds a game and contributes as a defender, scorer and ball-handler. And the other kids look up to her. We don’t know at this time whether one player steps forward to try to fill some of the void, or we may have to do it by committee. She brings a lot to the court.”

The championship was the first tournament crown for the Mustangs in their short history. The team is now 14-3.

“The victory was great but the loss of Anna really gives us mixed emotions,” said Kalivas. “It will be tough on the girls to not have her playing, but we just have to recover and look ahead to the coming games.”

While this year’s Dundee-Crown tournament was a success for Naperville Central, the Redhawks fell just short of their ultimate goal as they lost to Maine South 54-43 in overtime in the finals.

Naperville Central, which finished the Christmas tournament at 3-1, led by 11 points with just four minutes to go in the game, but the Redhawks were unable to finish. The loss snapped a nine-game Naperville Central winning streak.

Central’s Victoria Trowbridge and Jamie Cuny both made the all-tournament team. It was the second time Naperville Central finished second at Dundee-Crown, a tournament it has won twice.

The Redhawks (16-2) , who also lost early in the season to Wheaton Warrenville South in overtime, went into the new year one game behind the Tigers and Wheaton North in conference play.

“We’ve improved tremendously since the beginning of the season,” said the Redhawks coach Andy Nussbaum. “Everyone has improved their individual skills and we’ve come a long way in the team game. Everyone’s on the same page. We’re doing a great job of taking advantage of what the opponent gives us.”

For a team that started the season 0-11, Waubonsie Valley is relatively pleased to be going into the new year at 2-14.

The Warriors won their first game 46-40 over Lake Park just before Christmas and then put up another victory in the tough Wheaton North tournament with a 48-42 overtime win over Glenbard North.

Morgan Grastorf registered 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Lake Park win, while Ryaen Johnson was outstanding in the tournament victory with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“In the wins, we did what we’ve been trying to do all season,” said coach Dave Owles. “Which was consistently get the ball inside to our post players.”

Owles said the two games signal real progress for the Warriors. “We’re still turning the ball over too much, but we were able to control the boards in those games, and we’re starting to see some improvement in the outside shooting.”

Owles cited Kendall O’Sullivan for her perimeter shooting and point guard Emma Rigby for her ability to push the ball up-court.

With an 11-6 record going into January, Benet coach Peter Paul is looking for consistency from his team rather than just flashes of excellence.

One thing that will help is if the Redwings can get their entire team healthy.

Starting center Jenna Martin has missed a significant amount of time suffering from shin splints and a foot injury and they will find out Saturday when she can be expected back in the line-up. Marissa Panko is having the cast taken off her broken thumb in two weeks and could be ready to play shortly after that, while reserve Margaret Seigert has been out all season.

Paul is happy with some developments through the season as the Redwings continue to battle even though they’re shorthanded and they do not have a big post player.

“Grace Bumpas has really helped us,” said Paul. “She’s worked hard under the boards and improved her post defense. Freshman Kathleen Doyle has looked good at the point and we’re getting the scoring from Chrissie Prasse, Emily Eshoo and Emily Schramek. But we’re young and we still have to develop that consistency.”

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