Waldron leads Tigers to supersectionals despite loss of top scorers to injury
WHEATON — After squaring off against Meghan Waldron for a third time this season, Wheaton North girls basketball coach Dave Eaton jokingly wondered if she wouldn't mind wearing a royal blue and gold uniform next year.
Suffice to say, having the Wheaton Warrenville South junior guard on your team certainly beats the alternative.
"Everybody knows you have to stop her yet you still can't stop her," Eaton said. "That says so much about Meghan. She is one of the best players I've coached against in 10 years. My definition of a great player is one that makes everyone around them better and Meghan makes everybody better."
After an impressive first two years on varsity, Waldron has taken her game to an even higher level this winter. The junior averaged 18.3 points a game on 47-percent shooting to go along with 8.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.4 steals per contest while leading the Tigers to the supersectionals.
While her numbers in the latter three categories are nearly identical to last season, her biggest jump came in putting the ball in the basket. With both Sierra Bisso and Maggie Dansdill lost to ACL injuries, the normally pass-first point guard had to take on more of a scorer's mentality.
"My freshman and sophomore years, I passed almost too much," Waldron said. "Coach would get mad at me. This year, I am still passing a lot but with Sierra and Maggie out, I've had to take on more of a scoring role.
"Maggie and Sierra are two of our best scorers and we lost Kasey (Gassensmith) from last year. We lost almost all of our scoring."
That unselfishness has been a trait of Waldron's since she got her start with the sport. A part of a basketball family (her mom played at DePaul and her dad played in high school), she remembers having a ball in her hands at age 2 or 3 before beginning to play games at 5.
She would later compete on a boys YMCA team with Dansdill before becoming a member of the WWS feeder program.
Once she hit high school, it didn't take her long to make an impact as Waldron was called up to the varsity during her freshman year. Her progression has been steady ever since.
"She has improved her game every year," said WWS coach Rob Kroehnke, "and she continues to step up. It makes you wonder how far she can go. Meghan is capable of doing so many things. I'm looking forward to ... even bigger and better things next year."
The next step in her basketball career will take the guard to DePaul. She made that announcement earlier this season.
"I think Coach (Doug) Bruno is one of the best coaches out there," she said. "I feel comfortable there, I'm used to going there a lot because my mom played there. And I like the way they play — they play fast."
Feeling a sense of relief with that decision out of the way, Waldron simply enjoyed what turned out to be one of the best seasons in Tigers history.
"It's been a fun year, a crazy year," the junior said. "We have had tears and a lot of happy moments. Losing those two almost brought us even closer. We wanted to help them win championships too."
As for her own game, Waldron has her sights set on further improvement which probably induces panic within opposing coaches.
"My shot has gotten better each year," she said. "I'd like to perfect it."
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