Coming into Saturday's home game at 12-3 and 3-0 in the DuPage Valley Conference, West Aurora isn't going to sneak up on anybody anymore.
Wheaton North certainly was ready. Chrissy Baird opened the scoring with a 3-pointer just nine seconds into the game. By the 6:17 mark West Aurora coach Connie Siljendahl had burned her first timeout, her team down 8-0 and on its way to a 70-46 loss.
"I'm really proud of how my team came out," Baird said. "We were ready to go. We played really well together. That's been the key for us all season is to play together all the time. We were ready to go."
While handing West Aurora (12-4, 3-1) its first DVC loss, Wheaton North (11-6, 5-1) took over second place in the conference behind Wheaton Warrenville South.
"That was a big win," said Falcons coach David Eaton, whose team's only DVC loss came against WW South by 12 points.
"We know they were going to be good. They rebound the basketball so well. For our girls to come out and play like they did tonight, I thought that was a really good job by our kids."
Kelly Thornton followed Baird's opening 3-pointer with one of her own, then Baird scored inside to make it 8-0.
West Aurora briefly got back into the game. A 3-pointer from Alexis Wiggins cut the Falcons' lead to 13-12, the closest West Aurora got.
It also was the only 3-point basket West Aurora made in the game, finishing 1 of 20. Abriya Zeitz was effective inside with a team-high 15 points, but too often the Blackhawks couldn't get her the ball.
"We were trying to get the ball inside more," Siljendahl said. "It's hard when they are so much bigger. It just seemed we weren't ready to shoot the ball when we did get it. Lots of things to work on."
Emari Jones scored the final 6 points of the first quarter, giving the Falcons a 21-14 lead. Wiggins and Zeitz went to the bench with foul trouble in the second quarter, and the Falcons capitalized with their second straight 21-point quarter to lead 42-27 at halftime.
"We got in some foul trouble and weren't moving our feet and getting to our spot, Siljendahl said. "We were getting beat, making our teammates cover for us, and that's where we were picking up our fouls."
Zeitz and Liz Skaggs teamed up for West Aurora's first 6 points of the third quarter, all down low, as the Blackhawks got as close as 48-36.
But again Zeitz went to the bench with three and then four fouls, and the Falcons went on a 14-4 run to push their advantage to 60-40 going to the fourth quarter. Baird scored 6 points in the spurt while sophomore Abby Tiesman came off the bench for 4.
Baird led the Falcons with 19 points, Thornton had 18 and Jones 17.
"The nice thing I like about this group is it is very balanced," Eaton said. "We can sub in and out so that helps us. We focused on keeping them out of the paint and I thought we did a good job. They play well as a team."
Wheaton North shot 56 percent from the field (23 for 41) and made 19 of 25 free throws (78 percent); the Blackhawks made just 17 of 56 field goals (30.3 percent) and 11 of 20 at the line. West Aurora also had 26 turnovers.
"They (Wheaton North) are just so long and tall, such a different composition team than we are," Siljendahl said. "It was very disappointing. I know we are better than this."
The Blackhawks will try to bounce back Thursday against Naperville North.
"We have some great leadership this year, and they will (rebound)," Siljendahl said. "They are mad. I'm glad they are mad. They know what they did wrong and what they have to change."