Highland Park senior Lizzy LoGrande said the Giants weren't too happy about their start on Monday night in a 49-37 loss to Maine East.
"We didn't want to feel like that again," said the 5-foot-7 guard. "So we all came out with a lot of energy."
The energized Giants led 25-21 at intermission and extended the lead to as many as 15 points late in the fourth quarter before registering a 55-46 triumph over visiting Wheeling in the nonconference girls basketball game.
LoGrande scored a 14 points while classmate Lucy Hoffman tossed in a career-high 17 as the Giants improved to 6-11.
"I love seeing when someone like Lucy steps up and takes responsibilty like that, she was incredible," LoGrande said. "Wheeling was definitley a good team. We needed a game like this."
Giants coach Jolie Bechtel called it most likely the Giants' best game of the season.
"It was a great game for us," she said. "I'm extremely proud of the kids. There was a Division I player on the floor. I thought we did a nice job."
Alabama-Birmingham recruit Deanna Kuzmanic and junior center Lani Greenberg each scored 12 points for the Wildcats (9-10), who also received 9 points and two 3-pointers from junior Hannah Dobrowski and 6 from classmate Haily Dammeier.
"Lucy (Hoffman) draws the toughest defensive assignment (on Kuzmanic, who scored her 1,000th career point on Saturday) and scores a career-high 17 points," Bechtel said. "It was the best game of her career. She traditionally is not a scorer, she is a worker."
The Giants worked hard to regain the lead after falling behind 17-12 early in the second quarter.
Trailing 12-8, the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run with 2 free throws by senior Elizabeth Smith, a baseline drive by Kuzmanic, a 3-pointer by Dobrowski and another bucket from Kuzmanic which made it 17-12.
But Highland Park surged back for the 4-point lead at half.
"We went back and forth in every quarter," said Wildcats coach Julissa Hernandez. "Unfortunately, they did more damage than us. You are not going to win many games when you are not disciplined on defense."
A 16-footer by LoGrande gave the Giants the lead for good at 21-19 with 2:10 left in the first half.
Senior Sarah Glazer added 13 points for the winners while junior Kiera Thorpe added 8.
Greenberg scored all 12 of her points in the second half, including 6 in the final 1:16.
"Toward the end of the game, we made an effort to get the ball inside to Lani," Hernandez said. "And she took advantage by making sure to score the baskets.
"But Highland Park came out ready to play and unfortunately, we didn't. Kudos to them. It was great to see them come out with confidence."