Naperville North coach Jason Dycus can add another signature win to his first year leading the girls basketball program.
After wins against Benet, West Aurora and Metea Valley earlier this year, the Huskies came through on the road during a 71-62 victory at Wheaton North on Saturday, knocking the Falcons out of first place in the DuPage Valley Conference just two days after taking the top spot.
Naperville North came out ready from the opening tip, jumping out to a 22-7 lead to start the game.
"We knew we would be in for a challenge today and our girls met that challenge," Dycus said. "This is an absolute huge win for our program and I couldn't be more proud of our players."
Kayla Sharples led all scorers with a game-high 32 points including six 3-pointers. She scored 16 points in the first quarter alone.
"I think people know now that Kayla is not just a drive-first player, but that she can shoot," Dycus. "She's a special player."
Wheaton North (14-8, 7-2) overcame the slow start and opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run as Chrissy Baird, Kelly Thornton and Emmy Gryna all connected from the 3-point line, while Thornton's basket in the paint put her team up 43-37.
Sharples' 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the third cut the Huskies' deficit to 52-51.
She then opened the fourth quarter with her sixth and final 3-pointer of the night to give her team a 54-52 lead.
Emari Jones connected on a pair of free throws for Wheaton North with 1:54 left to cut her team's deficit 63-60, but Naperville North's Cece Pope was fouled on two straight trips down the court and made all four of her free throw attempts in a 10-second span, putting the Huskies up 67-60, which all but secured the win.
"When it was Cece going to the free-throw line, I was happy," Dycus said. "I told her yesterday that she's one of the players I want going to the free-throw line. She's a post player and a lot of times you'd want the guards going to the free-throw line, but I want her going to the line."
Before the game on Saturday, Naperville North players presented a check for $1,500 to Wheaton North assistant coach Mike Pribaz, his son, Jack, and their family as a donation to the Jack Pribaz Foundation.
For the past three years during a Wheaton North girls basketball game, the Falcons have helped raise awareness for a rare genetic disorder called KCNQ2 that afflicts Jack.
"Naperville North was a class act, before, during and after the game," Wheaton North coach Dave Eaton said. "It was an honor to have them here and take part in the special day."