It doesn't take DuPage Valley Conference ties to signal the beginning of a rivalry between Glenbard North and Lake Park.
The rivalry already exists, especially among evenly matched boys basketball programs.
The teams played nip-and-tuck throughout Friday's DVC game in Carol Stream, but Glenbard North held on late for a 55-52 victory over the visiting Lancers.
The Panthers (4-2, 2-0) overcame 11-of-26 free-throw shooting with menacing defense and timely big plays. Lake Park (5-3, 0-2) had three fourth-quarter chances to tie or take the lead, but turnovers -- 8 of the Lancers' 26 on the night -- proved too costly.
Glenbard North led by as many as 9 points early in the third quarter before Lake Park narrowed the deficit to 46-44 on Tim Weiss' fourth 3-pointer. The Panthers' Kendall Holbert responded with his own 3-pointer to keep his team safely ahead.
"They're a good team," Panthers coach Joe Larson said of Lake Park. "They play well together, they keep fighting. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, especially at the free-throw line. Positively, though, we made the plays when we needed to."
A game of runs began with Lake Park surging to a 24-17 lead midway through the second quarter. Glenbard North responded 11 straight points to seize the lead for good, a run hammered home by Jeremiah Fleming's 3-pointer and Justin Jackson's steal and dunk.
When Chip Flanigan had a steal and dunk in the opening minutes of the second half, the Panthers built their largest lead at 35-26.
"It took us a while to match their intensity, but we finally did," said Flanigan, who led his team with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks. "The second half we just had to do a better job on defense. We had to box out, we had to jump passes, we had to do just about everything. That really helped."
Foul trouble hampered both teams in the second half as Holbert and Flanigan picked up four fouls and Karas, who led Lake Park with 15 points, fouled out with 4:45 left in the game. The sophomore drove to the basket and scored, but he was whistled for charging.
Weiss added 12 points and Connor Vance tallied 11 points for the Lancers, while Fleming and Holbert scored 8 points apiece for Glenbard North.
"We've got a squad with a bunch of juniors playing a team that's supposedly really good, and I though we hung in there," said Lake Park coach Josh Virostko. "I think we had a chance to win, we just didn't make enough plays. Your effort and commitment will keep you in the game, but then you've got to make some plays."
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