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Wolves find success in SPC play : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Wolves find success in SPC play
Oswego East bench helps lift team to 63-24 win over Plainfield East

by Laura M. Medina


The Oswego East girls' basketball team might not have as many tallies in the win column as it would like, but it has flawless marks in the standings where it counts - the Southwest Prairie Conference.

The Wolves improved to 2-0 in league competition following a lopsided 63-24 victory over visiting Plainfield East last Friday night.

Nine games into the young season, Oswego East is just 3-7 overall, having endured a five-game skid from Nov. 22-30 after opening with a victory at Waubonsie Valley on Nov. 18. The winless drought, however, ended with an SPC win against Plainfield North on Dec. 3 and was promptly followed by last week's triumph.

Against Plainfield East, the high-scoring Wolves jumped out to a 9-0 lead within the first three minutes of play. The Bengals, meanwhile, did not score their first basket until Andreana Johnson's pair of free throws with 4:27 remaining in the first.

"We had a good team effort overall; everybody that came in off the bench kept the intensity up," Oswego East head coach Abe Carretto said. "I think we did a good job defensively to keep things up."

Things continued to swing in favor of the home side, which passed the Bengals with an 8-2 surge - capped by starting junior point guard Nia Flowers' three-pointer as the buzzer sounded - as the quarter wound down for a 17-4 advantage. Six different players scored for the Wolves in that span.

Flowers finished with nine points, five rebounds, five steals, and three assists.

Momentum from Flowers' basket carried Oswego East through much of the second, as it reeled off 15 additional unanswered points in nearly six minutes. Courtni Eldridge's layup with 1:32 left ended the drought for Plainfield East, which trailed 32-6 at that point before going down 34-8 at halftime.

"The press was working pretty well," Carretto said. "I thought (Plainfield East) had some good looks early on, and they weren't hitting their shots, so that helped our team out. We were getting most of the defensive rebounds going the other away that gave us additional looks."

A 10-0 run started the third for the Wolves, who were paced by freshman forward Sydney Schultz's six points in that span. Schultz led all scorers with 14 points on the night.

But the Bengals seemed to spark up in the final six minutes of the quarter, putting together an 8-3 surge - led by Chizua Onua's four points - to chip away at the deficit and eventually trailing 49-18 heading into the fourth.

It was then, however, that Oswego East doubled-up Plainfield East 12-6 on the scoreboard in the final eight minutes of play, giving the Wolves the 63-24 victory - their biggest winning margin of the season after surrendering at least 51 points per game.

"Our defense has to get better," Carretto said. "The other games we played with the exception of one, we either stayed on pace scoring or have actually had more field goals than the other team. The only thing that we didn't do was get some stops, and obviously, going to the free throw line.

"To get better, we have to play better transition defense to stop people from getting easy buckets."

Though several contributors factored into its latest games, the most prominent statistic might be the Oswego East's offensive depth.

Versus the Bengals, senior starting point guard Venita Parsons scored 12 points while being limited to just the first half. A pair of bench players each picked up three points, while another added two.

Junior reserve guard Carissa Corpuz added five points and two rebounds for the Wolves, who returned to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon against Naperville North. Despite a valiant comeback attempt, it was not enough to change the 59-54 outcome.

"It should be a motivating thing ... for us to have players come off the bench with the same intensity (as the starters)," Carretto said.

Notes: Against the Huskies, Parsons led the Wolves with 18 points, and Schultz had 16 for the Wolves, who were out-shot from the charity stripe 38-25 on the night.

On Tuesday, Oswego East fell to DeKalb, 39-32. Schultz had 10 points and eight rebounds while Parsons chipped in with nine points.

Oswego East will resume SPC competition at Romeoville on Friday with tip-off schedule for 6:30 p.m.

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