Waubonsie Valley’s defense suffocates Bartlett

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If good old fashioned defense is what you like, then Bartlett  was the place for you Friday night.

Waubonsie Valley took advantage of a slow Bartlett start and came away with a 39-29 victory in an Upstate Eight Valley Conference clash.

Bartlett (13-10, 3-5) couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start against the Warriors. The Hawks were held scoreless in the first quarter and turned the ball over six times. Waubonsie Valley (13-7, 5-3) kept up the defensive intensity in the second quarter, allowing just five points and just two Bartlett baskets on 17 shot attempts.

Waubonsie Valley coach Chaz Taft was very pleased with his team’s defensive effort, especially against Bartlett’s Ryan DiCanio.

“Defensively I couldn’t be happier with how we played,” said Chaz Taft. “Our focus coming in was on (Ryan) DiCanio. He is such a great player. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won conference player of the year. To hold someone like him to just five points is a true reflection of how good our kids played tonight.”

In the second half, Bartlett went to its third unit and was able to cut the Warrior lead to 10 points, but in the end it was too little too late for the Hawks.

“All the credit goes to Waubonise Valley tonight,” said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. “They defended very well and we just couldn’t hit shots. The offense just wasn’t clicking. In the second half I decided to give the third unit some minutes and I was very pleased with the energy they gave off the bench. That group of guys played their butts off.”

Waubonsie Valley was led by Nick Karkazis with 11 points. Jay DeHaan added eight points for the Warriors. Bartlett was led by Jordan Eagins with nine points off the bench.

Coach Taft hopes the win over Bartlett will be a turning point for the Warriors.

“This was such a huge win for us,” said Taft. “We haven’t won in Bartlett in a few years. This was a key conference win that hopefully we will gain some momentum from.”

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