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Naperville North's boys basketball team made a statement Friday night.
The Huskies aim for another on Saturday.
A loaded weekend started well for Naperville North, which rallied to beat York 54-51 in a key nonconference game in Elmhurst. With one big win in the bag, the Huskies (7-2) want to keep the momentum in Saturday's DuPage Valley Conference showdown against Glenbard East in Naperville.
"We have two big games in a row, and this is our test basically," said Huskies forward Derek Westman, who led all scorers with 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. "With Glenbard East tomorrow, York today. I think they're both Top 20 teams in the Daily Herald so we're trying to make a statement. We want to show people that we're Top 20 material."
A tight game saw both sides take turns leading, but a strong third quarter, capped by a Justin Kurash dunk, put York (7-3) ahead 37-34 entering the fourth quarter. Westman, however, started the fourth with a 3-pointer and added another basket to give the Huskies their first lead since the second quarter at 39-37.
York's David Cohn, who led his team with 15 points, narrowed a 5-point deficit to 50-48 in the final minute. After Westman split a pair of free throws the Dukes got the ball with a chance to tie with a 3-pointer.
York never got the chance. Naperville North's Jayson Winick tipped the ball away to Bryan LoLordo, who fed Winick for a layup and a 53-48 lead. The hustle play epitomized the Huskies' fourth-quarter effort and sealed the win.
"We're trying to get on the map and this is our ticket into it," LoLordo said.
York struggled all night from the field, but especially in the second half when the Dukes made only 10 of 30 attempts from the field. Frank Toohey added 10 points for York.
"They hit that 3 at the beginning of the quarter and that got them going," said York coach Vince Doran. "Give credit to them. They stepped up and hit some shots."
Anthony Rehayem scored 10 points for Naperville North while Winick made 5 free throws and scored all 7 of his points in the fourth quarter.
"I think they're feeling like everyone's overlooking them a little bit," said Huskies coach Jeff Powers. "With this one they wanted to make sure people know that they're for real."
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