DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove North senior guard Sarah Costello had not beaten Proviso West since her freshman season with the team.
But in one of the final home games of her varsity career, Costello's double-double powered Downers Grove North to an emphatic 51-35 victory over Proviso West on Saturday that brought the Trojans level with the Panthers atop the West Suburban Silver conference.
"I thought we were able to come together today and get a win when we needed it most," Costello said. "It's been three years since we last beat Proviso West, so getting this win is huge. Now, we have a chance to at least get a share of the conference title."
It was the second time in a week that the top two teams in the conference squared off, as Proviso prevailed 57-52 on Jan. 25 and handed the Trojans their first WSS loss of the season.
But North evened the score on Saturday, spoiling Proviso West's undefeated conference run and pulling even West in the Silver standings with two conference games left. North was scheduled to travel to Glenbard West yesterday before hosting Lyons Township in the WSS finale at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
If both teams win out, they will share the West Suburban Silver Conference championship.
Proviso West scored the first five points of the game on Saturday, but the Trojans roared back with 14-4 run to close the opening quarter, giving them a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, a swarming Downers Grove North defense limited Proviso West to just one point, which came as a result of a free throw with under a minute remaining in the half.
"Anytime you give up only 10 points in the first half, that's a solid defensive effort," North head coach Stephan Bolt said. "For the most part, I think our defense continued to frustrate their offense in the second half, too."
On the other side of the court, Costello paced the Trojans offense. The senior guard scored eight of North's 12 points in the third quarter, extending the lead to 35-18.Costello finished the game with 19 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, garnering high praise from her coach.
"Sarah is a competitor," Bolt said. "She has been on varsity for four years and has seen this team evolve and grow. We have never had a chance to compete for a conference title, but with that in sight, she has been playing at a very high level."
Junior Peyton Winters also saved one of he better performances of the season for the game Proviso West, which was without Toledo commit Mikaela Boyd after the guard injured her knee on Friday.
Winters wreaked havoc in the low post, recording 10 rebounds, 10 blocks, and seven points. Jaida Green added 12 points while Lauren Porcelli scored nine points for Downers Grove North.
Downers Grove N. 51
Proviso West 35
Three Keys to Victory
1. Second quarter D: North held Proviso West to just one point in the second quarter, and 10 points in the first half.
2. Double-double duo: Two starters recorded double-doubles: Peyton Winters (10 rebounds, 10 blocks) and Sarah Costello (19 points and 13 rebounds).
3. Costello's third quarter: Costello dominated play in the third quarter, taking two charges, scoring eight points and dishing an assist as the Trojans put the game out of reach.