Central Has Date with North in an All-Naperville Semifinal

Article excerpt

Byline: Daily Herald Reports

For the last month Naperville Central has had March 10 circled on its calendar. For 24 minutes Friday, Glenbard West looked like it was going to make the date meaningless.

March 10, next Tuesday, is the night Naperville Central gets its third shot at Naperville North, this time in the Class AA East Aurora sectional semifinal. Naperville Central beat Glenbard West 64-59 for its second straight regional championship Friday night, but not before the Hilltoppers gave the Redhawks a major scare.

Glenbard West led by 8 points at halftime and throughout the third quarter before the visiting Redhawks rallied. Naperville Central played a near-perfect fourth quarter to come away with a hard-fought victory - and another crack at its cross-town rival.

"Coach (Bob) Sterr wrote 3-10 on the board after the last Naperville game; that's Tuesday night," said Naperville Central senior Mike Brock, whose 4 steals were just as key to the Redhawks comeback as his 17 points. "We knew North was going to make it. We knew we had to have this game."

Technically, it was an upset for fifth-seeded Naperville Central (20-8) over fourth-seeded Glenbard West (19-8). But the teams were nearly even on paper, and the game was nearly even all night.

Naperville Central needed 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and 11 of 14 at the line in the final quarter to overtake the Hilltoppers and end their best season in years.

"They played hard, I thought we played hard," Sterr said. "I was a little worried at halftime. Our seniors came up big when we had to have them."

After the lead changed hands 10 times in the first half, there was just one in the second. It came on Brock's 3-point play with 6:23 remaining to put Naperville Central ahead 50-47. …