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Wheaton North found itself down 11 at one point to St. Charles North, a team under a new coach and a new up-tempo style of play.
Falcons coach Dave Eaton called time out with 2:17 left in the first half after a jumper from the wing by North Stars junior Nichole Davidson gave her team a 31-20 lead.
After the pep talk Wheaton North managed to cut the deficit to 6 at halftime and outscored its opponent 25-17 in the third quarter, leading to a 67-62 victory in the season opener for both teams at the York Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday.
"We stopped playing our type of basketball and started playing their type of tempo," Eaton said of St. Charles North. "They like to play up-tempo and we were missing some defensive assignments. We talked about getting back to the basics. We had a run to close out the half, then tied it and took the lead at the end of the third."
The season opener was also the coaching debut of St. Charles North's Sean Masoncup, whose young squad starts three juniors and two sophomores.
"I thought that we played inspired basketball," Masoncup said. "When we were up 11 in the second quarter, I would have liked to have seen us take a better shot and they know that, but as we get older and get into the season, I think we'll see a better St. Charles North basketball team in that type of situation."
The North Stars used a 9-0 run to go up 31-20 in the second quarter as Davidson also assisted on a 3-pointer by Sam Novak, just before her own jumper gave St. Charles North its largest lead of the night.
Coming out of the aforementioned timeout, the Falcons' Maggie Will knocked down a 3-pointer near the left wing to start an 8-3 run to close out the half and cut the deficit to 34-28.
The second half began with Emily Barry tallying two straight steals for the Falcons on the North Stars' first two possessions, leading to fastbreak layups by Emari Jones and Chrissy Baird.
Wheaton North took the lead back for good when Kelly Thornton drove the length of the court and laid the ball in off the glass as time expired on the third quarter, putting the Falcons up 53-51.
St. Charles North managed to cut the deficit to 1 on three occasions in the fourth quarter, but Wheaton North turned a 2-point lead into 5 when Thornton drove to the basket and scored on a reverse layup while being fouled in the process.
Her subsequent free throw put the Falcons up 64-59 with 1:30 left.
"The first one is always tough, and that's a good St. Charles North team," Eaton said. "Once they learn their new system, they're going to be even better."