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Cade Valek advances to Waubonsie regional title

Cade Valek He doesn’t need to score a single point to make a difference in Waubonsie Valley.

A key reserve, the 6-foot-10 junior forward is often first or second off the bench for coaching Andrew SchweitzerHowever, his role and minutes vary depending on the matches and the course of the game.

Teammates including junior guard Tyreek ColemanA two-sport standout who also excels on the football field, see what Valek brings to the basketball court for these Warriors.

“Cade does a lot of work for us,” said Coleman, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. “Even if he doesn’t score goals, he contributes in other ways. He usually rebounds and plays good defense.

“But he also sets up those screens and gives us open looks, including me. “He definitely impacts the game in different areas other than putting the ball in the hole,” he said.

Valek did all that and more for third-seeded Waubonsie Valley on Friday night, beating 11th-seeded Plainfield North 48-34 in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game.

On the stat line, four rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists, one steal for the Warriors (27-2), who play against second-seeded Downers Grove North (28) in the East Aurora Regional semifinals Wednesday at 7 p.m. and a charge was read. -4), 54-39 win over Neuqua Valley.

The 6-2 Coleman was again the offensive star, scoring a game-high 24 points for Waubonsie. Senior forward Jeffrey Fleming led Plainfield North (18-15) with 22 points.

Two nights ago, Fleming scored 35 points to lead the Tigers to a 56-54 upset win over seventh-seeded Metea. He operated in the middle of the Warriors’ 1-2-2 zone on Friday.

“He’s a monster,” Schweitzer said. “He’s got a motorbike and he’s a junkyard dog. He plays like Charles Barkley; rickety. I put that in our scouting report. He’s not the biggest kid we’ve seen this year, but he plays like one.

Waubonsie Valley’s Tyreek Coleman (12) dribbles down the field on a fast break against Plainfield North in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Aurora. (Troy Stolt / The Beacon-News)

“He did some damage in the first half, but I thought we did a better job in the second half, especially in the third quarter when we held them to four points.”

Valek played a part but defending against Fleming was a team effort.

The game was less than three minutes old when Valek was called after the kickoff. Ryan Morton His second foul was whistled at 5:32 of the first quarter.

Two of Valek’s blocks in the first quarter were on Fleming’s shots.

“When I come off the bench, my main goal is to make a big play defensively,” Valek said. “Just to increase the momentum and energize the team.

Waubonsie Valley's Tre Blissett (3) drives to the basket during the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional final against Plainfield North on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.  (Troy Stolt for Aurora News Beacon)
Waubonsie Valley’s Tre Blissett (3) drives to the basket against Plainfield North in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Aurora. (Troy Stolt / The Beacon-News)

“Coming off the bench helps because once you see what’s going on and see the whole field, you understand the game a little better.”

According to Valek, the player focuses more on his responsibility when he is on the field.

Valek plays as a defender in football. Loyola is one of several Division I programs showing recruiting interest in three-year varsity starter Waubonsie football coach José Garcia aforementioned.

“Cade is a super talented and very athletic player,” Garcia said. “You can see how good he will be at basketball as well. He can also play offense for us. We have done that in practice. He will score some goals.”

Waubonsie Valley's Cade Valek (25) attempts a shot against Plainfield North in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional final on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.  (Troy Stolt for Aurora News Beacon)
Waubonsie Valley’s Cade Valek (25) tries to make a field goal against Plainfield North in the Class 4A Metea Valley Regional championship game on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Aurora. (Troy Stolt / The Beacon-News)

Garcia makes good use of Valek’s height in the team’s corner kick attack.

Valek, who can use his body to head the ball, said, “I am the target man in these games.”

Waubonsie, meanwhile, took control Friday by getting blocked shots from four other players and finished with nine points. Plainfield North shot 26% (11 of 39) to Waubonsie’s 51% (18 of 35).

“I think next year Cade will be very important for us offensively,” Schweitzer said. “Once we got him in (Friday night), his rebounding woes went way down.”

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