Girls Basketball: Neuqua Valley overwhelms Lockport
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media February 12, 2013 11:00PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:37AM
No team ever likes to lose a game, but perhaps the upset Neuqua Valley suffered Friday against Geneva could serve the Wildcats well in the postseason.
They certainly excelled in their first game since that loss. Tuesday against Lockport, the Wildcats were dominant from wire to wire, holding the Porters scoreless in the second half en route to a 72-16 win in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional semifinals.
Neuqua will face Metea Valley at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the regional title game.
“It was a wake-up call, but we kind of needed that,” Neuqua’s Lauren Deveikis said. “We have to know how it feels to lose. It just makes us better and gets us ready for the playoffs. We always turn those into positives.”
A pair of early three-pointers from Deveikis helped set the tone for Neuqua (25-3). The Wildcats jumped out to a 12-2 run out of the gates. A 15-0 run later in the first quarter, keyed by five points from Myia Starks, pushed the lead to 27-4, and Neuqua was on its way.
A 10-0 run at the outset of the second quarter was started by another Deveikis three-pointer and pushed the lead to 39-6.
“That’s my job,” Deveikis said of her early shooting. “I shoot when I can. I just try to help get the team fired up. But all in all, it was a team win.”
Lockport (12-14) closed to 46-16 late in the second quarter, but nobody knew that would be the last time the Porters would score a point.
Neuqua scored 41 bench points in the win, led by Starks’ game-high 15 points. Niki Lazar scored nine off the bench. Deveikis was the lone starter in double figures with 11 points, and all but one of the 11 Wildcats who saw action scored.
“We gave some kids an opportunity that they normally don’t get to play,” Neuqua coach Mike Williams said. “Everybody is playing pretty hard right now. There were so many great performances. As we move on, that’s going to be tougher and tougher (getting girls deep on the bench playing time).”
Neuqua’s next step is trying to beat Metea on the Mustangs’ home court Friday for the regional crown.