After watching her team struggle in a season-opening loss to Naperville North Tuesday, Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas was much more encouraged Friday against Oswego East.
In the opener of the Naperville Central Tip-Off Tournament, the Mustangs never trailed, cruising to a 51-43 win.
“Much happier, yes,” Kalivas said. “I think it was quite a turnaround from Tuesday. We had a really good practice yesterday. I think defensively we came out and set a much better tone today, and that led to easy baskets offensively early on, just kind of gave us some momentum in the first half. We didn’t do anything we wanted to do Tuesday against Naperville North. I give it to them that they picked things up and implemented what we asked them to do and I think the difference showed.”
Junior guard Lisa Logan, a transfer from Aurora Central, set the tone early for Metea. She scored nine of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter as the Mustangs opened with an 11-3 lead.
“I just took it to the basket and I was more intense than I was Tuesday,” Logan said. “I just feel like today I had a lot more aggression than on Tuesday.”
Oswego East (1-1) hung around much of the evening, but the Wolves just couldn’t find the bottom of the basket. They shot only 18-of-68 from the field and settled for jumpers much of the night, only getting eight free-throw attempts (2-for-8).
“Early on, we had tons of opportunities,” Oswego East coach Abe Carretto said. “If we get rolling, at least it’s an even game. I think we’d have a lead at some point, because we had good looks. We made some nice runs here and there, but the lid was on the hoop for us a little bit tonight.”
Metea built a 45-27 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Oswego East closed on a 16-6 run, but it was too late to catch the Mustangs.
“It was very encouraging,” Logan said. “We talked as a team today and we worked together. The intensity we came out with, we finished with, so that contributed to the win.”
Jenny Voytell added 15 points for Metea, while Katie Lawrence posted 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“We don’t have Lori [Obendorf] and Anna [Petersen] down low with that size,” Kalivas said. “We’re stressing that we have to get the grunt work done, and Katie has picked up a lot of that slack for us. She did a nice job.”
Julianna Wadsworth paced the Wolves with 12 points, all coming in the second half. Venita Parsons added 11 points. Freshman Sydney Schultz hauled down 15 rebounds.