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Waubonsie's Jared Brownridge drives to the net against a host of Plainfield South defenders in Aurora on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Strong rebounding wasn’t Waubonsie Valley’s forte earlier in the season.
It is now.
The Warriors dominated the glass at both ends of the floor Tuesday night and rolled to a 65-52 nonconference victory over visiting Plainfield South in Aurora.
Waubonsie Valley (13-6) outrebounded the Cougars 32-16 overall and enjoyed a whopping 17-4 advantage on the offensive boards en route to extending its winning streak to three going into Friday’s showdown with rival Neuqua Valley.
“We were just trying to focus on going to the offensive boards,” Waubonsie Valley forward Jack Cordes said. “They were turning their heads and we were attacking and getting second-chance opportunities.”
Many of those came courtesy of the 6-5 Cordes, who scored 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, eight of them on offense. He single-handedly had twice as many offensive boards as the entire Plainfield South squad.
Cordes set the tone early on, assisting Bryan Jefferson on the game’s opening basket and pulling down four offensive boards in the first half. Jefferson and star guard Jared Brownridge were the main beneficiaries of Cordes’ effort as the pair combined to score 21 points in the first half to give the Warriors a 34-19 lead at the break.
“We’ve been trying to outrebound our opponents,” Cordes said. “I think we lack a little bit of size, so we’ve been trying to step that up and that’s really helped us win our past three games.”
Plainfield South (5-12), which has no player taller than 6-4, was both outsized and outshot. The Cougars were just 11-for-32 from the floor through three quarters and fell behind 50-30 early in the fourth quarter after the Warriors went on a 14-2 run.
Five different players scored for Waubonsie during that spurt, highlighting a diversity welcomed by Warriors coach Steve Weemer.
“We had four guys in double figures,” Weemer noted. “I think it’s very, very important to keep building on that.”
Brownridge led the Warriors with 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Jefferson added 14 points. Dylan Warden came off the bench to tally a season-high 13 points and fellow sub Jay DeHaan chipped in eight points.
“I think they had a little more firepower than we did,” Plainfield South coach Tim Boe said. “We would have signed up for [holding] Brownridge to 16. Those other guys did a good job of scoring. They played hard.”
Alonzo Garrett scored a game-high 20 points, including five three-pointers, for the Cougars, but 13 of those came in the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach. James Hill added 11 points.