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Stewart, Wheaton N. floor it for win
By Orrin Schwarz | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 11/21/2012 10:44 PM

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Reilly Stewart is not afraid to drive to the basket.

Whether she goes all the way in for a layup and winds up crashing to the floor, or whether she’s just kicking the basketball out to the wings for a 3-pointer, it’s a win-win to the Wheaton North senior point guard.

“Attacking’s a blast,” Stewart said after the Falcons’ 48-35 victory against Conant on Wednesday night at the York Thanksgiving Tournament. “I love going to the rim and falling to the ground and stuff. But kicking it out and getting the 3 is also real exciting because it’s a swing in momentum.”

That combination was effective most of the night for the Falcons (3-2), starting with the second quarter, when they scored the first 8 points to open up a tied game, then went into halftime leading 24-13 after a Mandy Traversa 3-pointer just before the buzzer.“We missed some shots, and they trapped us and bothered us,” Conant coach Dan Travers said. “We knew what was going on. We just didn’t execute what we were supposed to do.

“We talked about the knockout punch. We knew that they were going to come and try to knock us out. The 3-point shot at the end of the quarter didn’t help. We knew it was going to happen. We told them. But give them some credit. We’re just going through growing pains.”

“I didn’t think we played real well offensively in the first half there until late when Mandy’s 3 sent us into halftime,” Falcons coach Dave Eaton said. “Then we played a little bit better.”

Stewart got to the basket enough to score 6 points, but she also kicked the ball out for 4 assists in limited time. Traversa was Stewart’s favorite target when kicking the ball out, hitting four 3-pointers to finish with 18 points, plus 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

“I think the cat’s out of the bag on her a little bit,” Eaton said about Traversa, a 6-foot-1 senior. “She’s a great shooter, obviously. When she gets some open looks, she can put the ball in the basket. I think her lowest game so far in five games is 16 points. But the nice thing is you can’t really focus on her because Chrissy (Baird) is inside, Reilly’s taking the ball to the basket, Kelly Thornton’s hitting some shots from the perimeter as well, and Jessica Beamon’s getting some baskets inside as well.”

“It was really fun, just bringing the ball up, attacking, kicking it out, getting a lot of 3-pointers by Mandy,” Stewart added. “It was fun.”

The Falcons took the lead past 20 points in the third quarter, going up 37-16 with 2:58 to play on Maddie Hutchinson’s basket and giving both coaches a chance to go deep into their bench.

Sophomore Lilly Chavarria came off the bench to lead Conant with 8 points.