Waubonsie Valley girls open DuPage Valley Conference play by defeating Naperville Central in OT

You don’t change a culture overnight, but with enough nights like the Waubonsie Valley girls experienced on Thursday, you can certainly make strides.

The Warriors opened the DuPage Valley Conference game with a 60-56 overtime loss on a visit to Naperville Central to improve to 5-1 on the year.

It was the kind of game the Warriors have gotten the short end of the stick far too often in recent seasons.

But this group of players, with some rugged veterans and some talented newcomers, are looking to return the program to its glory days of old.

Freshman Danyella Mporokoso scored four of her game-high 27 points in the extra session and senior guard Taylor Curry knocked down three of four free throws as the hosts defeated the Redhawks 7–3 in overtime.

“This is a team that has beaten Benet and we’ve lost many times against Naperville Central in the past,” said Warriors coach Brett Love.

“Danyella really showed up tonight and shot the ball a lot better than the last few games, and Taylor always gets himself in position to make mistakes and make those shots.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

“We’ve tried to change the culture and we’ve talked about work ethic, dedication and discipline, but now we also have more talent.”

For much of the game, it looked like it was a battle between the top freshmen of the two teams, as Mporokoso tried her best to play well for Naperville Central standout freshman Trinity Jones, who led her team with 23 points.

“I felt a little pressure because this was my first conference game and I knew she (Jones) was a really good player,” said Mporokoso, who led all scorers with 13 points in the first half en route to the career-high. 27. “Once my shots started to fall, I got more confident, which was a nice change from the last few games.”

The Redhawks (2-4, 0-1) led 27-25 at halftime and later 51-47 with 2 minutes remaining, but couldn’t close out the Warriors, who sent the game to overtime after a Curry- basket and a pair of free throws by their talented freshman late.

“We had our chances to put the game away and missed those opportunities,” said Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum. “Danyella played really well and shot the ball probably the best she’s done for them so far, but it wasn’t just her. Curry is a great player and (Khaliah) Reid is really good, and Lily Newton made some great plays for them.”

A transfer from Metea Valley, Reid scored 12 points in the third quarter as the Warriors took a 43–41 lead in the fourth. Newton finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds.

“We definitely had chances to win this one,” said Jones, who had 14 points and 3 steals to go with her 23 points. “We just have to play with a little more passion every now and then.”

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