VILLA PARK – Coaches are always demanding perfection, but Terry Harrell took it to a new level Jan. 10.
His Willowbrook girls basketball team was never threatened by Downers Grove South in a West Suburban Gold clash as the Warriors won easily, 61-42.
From Harrell’s perspective, the victory left a lot to be desired, but he also wasn’t about to forfeit the win, either.
“We didn’t play very well. We didn’t play well enough to deserve to win,” Harrell said. “We’ll take the win, though.”
The Warriors jumped out to a 5-0 lead early and led 15-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Mustangs were within nine twice in the second quarter, but Jada Stills’ 3-pointer at the buzzer in the second quarter put the hosts ahead 29-13 at intermission.
The lead swelled to 22 points as Willowbrook started the second half with a 7-1 surge, and South never really threatened to rally. The Warriors’ performance over the final 16 minutes was much more pleasing.
“The girls stuck with it,” Harrell said. “The second half they did run the offense and we got some good shots.”
The Warriors had an impressive performance the next night as they topped WSG foe Leyden 69-32 to improve to 16-2 overall and 7-0 in the conference. Molly Krawczykowski scored 23 points in the win.
Willowbrook is scheduled to play Providence at 9 a.m. Monday as part of the McDonald’s Shootout it is hosting, and the Warriors will welcome Glenbard South at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the big game next week is Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. home clash against Proviso East. The winner will have the inside track to the WSG title, which is perhaps why Harrell scrutinizes the Warriors’ performances, including the win over DGS.
“It’s always good to get a conference victory,” Harrell said. “We didn’t win the conference last year and we’d really like to win conference this year, so it’s nice to get a conference victory. But the bottom line is, we didn’t play well. I probably shouldn’t complain, though, because we won anyway.”
The Warriors are 7-0 in the WSG and already defeated Proviso East 60-54 in Maywood on Dec. 7 for the Pirates’ only conference loss.
Willowbrook 61, Downers South 42
Willowbrook top performers
• Molly Krawczykowski: 19 points • Olivia Domin: 11 points • Josie Zabran: 9 points