With several Glenbard East Pack the Place fans in holiday attire Friday, senior guard Tahron Harvey played dual personalities of the Grinch and Santa Claus on the basketball court.
Harvey had 6 steals and 8 assists along with 15 points as the Rams remained undefeated in the DuPage Valley Conference with a 67-45 victory over Wheaton North in Lombard.
"It's defense first and then offense. Defense turns into offense," Harvey said. "We didn't have a great shooting night (10 for 38 in first half) so we had to pick it up on the defensive end and get those tips and layups."
Harvey's four steals in the second quarter sparked the Rams' transition game for a 28-19 halftime advantage. Harvey displayed a giving mood in the third quarter with three assists as the Rams (6-1, 3-0) outscored the Falcons 22-12 for a 50-31 advantage.
"Especially at the end of the second and the third quarter, (Harvey) really took the game on himself," Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said. "He didn't shoot the ball well as he's shot so far this year, so he actually found other ways to kind of get people involved."
The Rams have won their games by an average of 18.3 points. In the first 3˝ minutes of the second half, they blitzed the Falcons (2-2, 1-2) with a 14-3 run to pull ahead 42-22.
"We always talk about those first four minutes of that third quarter," Miller said. "I'm proud of our guys. It was not one of our best shooting performances, but defensively we did a nice job."
After a dunk by Wheaton North's Andrew Zelis cut the deficit to 23-19, Harvey scored inside and hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer. The Rams recovered missed or blocked shots on both possessions.
"That was disappointing because I think we could have gone into half within a couple of points," Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann said. "That's what Glenbard East does. They're a great team and they can score points in bunches."
The Rams' Marvin Grant-Clark had 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting with three 3s in the third quarter.
"I was feeling it in warmups and felt I was heating up," Grant-Clark said. "That's the part where we've got to step on their necks and take control of the game."
Zelis had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Starter Luc Moran returned from injury, but starter Jaylen Howze was on a football recruiting visit to Minnesota State University Moorhead.