Coming off the bench, Cade Valek does a little bit of everything for Waubonsie Valley. ‘I’m the target man.’

Cade Valek doesn’t have to score a single point to make a difference for Waubonsie Valley.

A key reserve, the 6-foot-6 junior forward is often first or second off the bench for coach Andrew Schweitzer, but his role and minutes vary depending on matchups and how the game is going.

His teammates, including junior guard Tyreek Coleman, understand what Valek — a two-sport standout who also excels on the soccer field — brings on 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’s not scoring, he contributes in other ways. Usually, it’s rebounding and playing good defense.

“But he also sets those screens and gets us open looks, me included. He definitely affects the game in different areas other than putting the ball in the hole.”

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

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

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

Two nights earlier, Fleming poured in 35 points to lead the Tigers to a 56-54 upset victory over seventh-seeded Metea. He posted up Friday in the middle of the Warriors’ 1-2-2 zone.

“He’s a beast,” Schweitzer said. “He’s got a motor and he’s a junkyard dog. He plays like Charles Barkley — undersized. I put it in our scouting report. He’s not the biggest kid we’ve seen this year, but he plays like it.

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

Valek played a part, but the defense on Fleming was a team effort.

The game was less than three minutes old when Valek was summoned after starter Ryan Morton was whistled for his second foul at 5:32 of the first quarter.

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

“My main goal when I’m coming off the bench is can I make one big play defensively,” Valek said. “Just to swing momentum and kind of build the energy up for the team.

“Coming off the bench helps because you understand the game a little bit more after getting a view of what’s going on and seeing the whole floor.”

Once on the floor, according to Valek, a player is more focused on his responsibility.

Valek plays defender in soccer. Loyola is one of several Division I programs that have shown recruiting interest in the three-year varsity starter, Waubonsie soccer coach Jose Garcia said.

“Cade is a super talent and very athletic,” Garcia said. “You can see how he would be good in basketball, too. He could play on offense for us, too. We’ve done it in practice. He’ll score some.”

Garcia puts Valek’s height to good use on the team’s attack off corner kicks.

“I’m the target man on those plays,” said Valek, who can use his size to attempt a header.

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

“I think next year, Cade is gonna be huge for us offensively,” Schweitzer said. “Once we got him in (Friday night), the rebounding woes went down quite a bit.”