Wheaton North clinched the DuPage Valley Conference championship outright on Wednesday with an 11-7 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South. That sucks most of the oxygen out of Thursday's series finale at North Central College between Naperville North and Naperville Central. The Huskies were rooting for a Wheaton North loss and a chance to gain a share of the DVC title. Now both teams can focus exclusively on getting ready for the postseason.
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Naperville Central coach Bill Seiple was cryptic when asked who will pitch in Thursday's series finale at North Central College. After Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Naperville North, Seiple didn't know the final score of the Wheaton North-Wheaton Warrenville South game.
"How we deal with this depends on what happened to Wheaton North," Seiple said. "If we still have a shot, (we'll) do it one way. If we don't, we may do it another way."
With the defeat, and Wheaton North's 11-1 victory, Central (20-12 14-6) lost any hope of stealing a share of the DuPage Valley Conference championship. We'll be looking at some of Central's options going forward in Thursday's print edition.
Eye black smeared across his face, Alex Helms slammed his helmet to the ground. This time it was Naperville North flooding out of the dugout to celebrate a walk-off victory at home plate.
Again Naperville Central came back from a three-run deficit and pushed a key DuPage Valley Conference game beyond the seventh inning. But with the bases loaded in the eighth, North junior Paul Bloodgood delivered the clutch hit on Tuesday, bouncing a two-run single to left that secured a 5-4 win.
The day before North unraveled late, leading 3-0 heading into the seventh inning before ultimately losing 4-3 in the ninth.
"We have to keep a positive mindset. And that last inning when we came up, everyone's like, 'Ok, we need to get one run,'" Bloodgood said. "Coach was saying, 'Why get one? Get two, end it right here.'"
Once Helms beat the throw and slid in safely for the game-winning run, the Huskies (22-7, 15-5) could jump around, because they still might be able to play for a share of the DVC title.
With the loss, and Wheaton North's 11-1 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South, Central (20-12 14-6) was eliminated from the race with one conference game left to play.
Whether or not Thursday's series finale at North Central College has meaning depends on what happens Wednesday in Wheaton. WW South travels to Wheaton North (23-4, 16-4), which will be looking to clinch.
This time Naperville Central wasn't interested in sharing.
Drew Crawford scored 27 points to lead the Redhawks to a 62-57 overtime victory against Wheaton Warrenville South on Friday night in Naperville. The win gave them the DuPage Valley Conference championship outright, a year after they split the title with Wheaton North.
Central last earned consecutive DVC championships in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.
Naperville Central nearly gave away all of its 15-point lead on Saturday night at Wheaton Warrenville South before closing out a 54-46 win. WW South made it a one-possession game in the final minute, but what really added a layer of tension to the finish was the fact that Central had Drew Crawford down for three fouls while the official book had him with four.
Basically there was a miscommunication at the scorers' table. At some point, a foul that should have gone to No. 11 (Danny Ondik) instead went to No. 1 (Crawford - who incidentally is the son of a veteran NBA referee).
Afterward WW South coach Mike Healy said Crawford might be the most valuable player in the entire state - who knows what would have happened if the Northwestern-bound senior had picked up his phantom fifth foul.
-Notre Dame senior forward Brittany Bock, a Neuqua Valley graduate, is among 15 semifinalists for the 2008 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation's top Division I women's soccer player.
-Washington University (St. Louis) sophomore running back Jim O'Brien, a Wheaton Warrenville South graduate, was selected to the all-University Athletic Association first team as a kick returner for the second-consecutive season. O'Brien averaged a conference-best 25.0 yards per kick return, and was second in all-purpose yards at 107.2 per game.
-Wisconsin-Whitewater freshman Alyssa Bauer, a Naperville Central graduate, has been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association's all-Midwest region honorable mention team. Bauer was also recognized on the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's all-defensive team.