Boys Basketball defeats Naperville Central in highly anticipated Crosstown matchup

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Photo by Grace Ainger

Will Richards

The Naperville North High School varsity boys basketball team defeated Naperville Central High School on Friday, Dec. 16.

The Huskies (6-5) defeated the Redhawks (4-7) with a final score of 65-35.

The Huskies started off strong hitting three of their first four shots to end the first quarter leading 18-9. The Huskies continued their dominance in offense by putting up 20 more points in the second quarter. Senior Jacob Nolen notes that patience was key for the Huskie offense.

“The more we move the ball, the more we burn possessions, the longer we wait, the more dominoes will fall, the more open looks we’ll get,” Nolen said

The Huskies didn’t stop there as they continued to put points on the board and pressure on the Redhawks. The Huskies scored 14 points in the third quarter and 13 points in the fourth, while the defense only gave up 12 and 8 points in each quarter. Junior Grant Montanari explains how rebounding became a key part of the game.

“We’ve been working on it. They’re good with the boards. They got some big guys. [we really] worked on it in practice and it paid off,” Montanari said.

The highly anticipated crosstown matchup drew lots of fans from Naperville North. Throughout the game, the student section could be heard constantly cheering on the Huskies. Head coach Gene Nolan emphasized the fact that he and his team were thankful for the support throughout the night.

“We’re appreciative of all of our students that came out to support the team… It was a great atmosphere,” Nolan said.

With this win, the Huskies have now defeated NCHS for the first time in the regular season since the 2018-19 season. The team was optimistic going into the game after their thrilling playoff win against Central last season. Nolen describes why this win is so special to the team.

“They’re always a great team. I have a lot of respect for them and it’s always fun,” Nolen said.

The team will play their next game on Friday, Dec. 23 against Lindblom Math and Science Academy. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Naperville North High School.