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Tigers set sights on strong second half

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 1:44 p.m. CDT
Wheaton Warrenville South's Aidan Hernandez drives to the basket in a game against Wheaton North on Dec. 6. After a strong showing over the holidays, the Tigers are aiming for a solid second half of the season. Mark Busch -

WHEATON – Bob Szorc saw signs of his inexperienced Wheaton Warrenville South boys basketball team turning the corner at the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.

Now the hope is that carries into 2014.

“I’m hoping that coming out of the York tournament, some of the guys got some confidence in terms of being able to score a little more,” Szorc said. “Defensively, we’ve done a good job of guarding people for the most part.

“We’ve been in a lot of games, but we are still learning how to win.”

At York, the Tigers lost each of their first three games by single-digits before ending the event with a 58-43 win over Ridgewood.

“I think we played well against St. Pat’s [a 51-42 loss in the opening round],” the coach said. “We gave ourselves a chance and we came back from a large deficit, which showed me a lot about our kids. In the Minooka game [a 45-36 loss] , Matt Kienzle had 20 points and we scored 36. They had 45 and they could have had less than that if we didn’t have to foul.

“Against McHenry [a 61-56 loss], we broke out of our offensive slump but couldn’t get a key stop. Ridgewood, we did good things offensively. It’s a credit to the kids to continue to work at it.”

One thing is for certain, the team is improving even if the current record might not show it.

“We are getting better,” Szorc said. “We are sharing the ball better and the kids are figuring out what they can and can’t do. One of the things I didn’t foresee hurting us, when we have been in games and had a chance to get over the top, is we’ve struggled at the free throw line. That’s across the board, not one kid.

“And rebounding is always going to be an issue for us. Now that we are getting into the heart of the DuPage Valley Conference schedule, that is something we are going to have to scrap to find ways to do.”

Indeed, the Tigers return to DVC league play this weekend with matchups against Naperville Central on Friday and Lake Park the following day. Wheaton Warrenville South recently lost to the Lancers in a defensive struggle as part of the Addison Trail Tournament on Dec. 17.

“Friday is a really tough matchup and Saturday, we have to take care of the basketball,” Szorc said.

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