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Wounded but winning.
It's not the ideal formula, but it's one Wheaton North's boys basketball team will have to deal with for now.
The short-handed Falcons claimed a DuPage Valley Conference sweep of cross-town rival Wheaton Warrenville South with Friday's 48-38 home win.
Already without leading scorer Matt Biegalski for several weeks because of a high ankle sprain, Wheaton North (10-8, 4-4) earlier this week lost point guard Mike Cerone to a practice injury. Andrew Slivinski is playing through two bad ankles as an example of what it'll take to get the Falcons through a tough stretch.
"Whenever an injury happens we just look to our bench," Slivinski said after his game-high 12-point performance. "We have confidence in all our guys. We really stepped up today and did a good job."
The defensive struggle stayed close early on Friday, with WW South (4-15, 1-7) pulling within 26-20 midway through the third quarter on Chris Simpson's putback. Sparked by John Coolidge's second 3-pointer, however, the Falcons took off on a 13-0 run to end the quarter leading 39-20.
The way the Falcons were defending and rebounding, the outcome was secure heading to the final eight minutes of play.
"I thought defensively we did a pretty decent job," said WW South coach Bob Szorc. "But it helps the defense when the ball goes in the basket. We just didn't do that enough tonight."
Neither team shot well, but Wheaton North made the most of its tremendous rebounding advantage -- especially on offense -- and its 14-of-18 free-throw shooting. The Tigers, meanwhile, took only 4 free-throw attempts.
Eight players scored in a balanced effort for the Falcons, with Nick Jordan tallying 9 points and Jake Heggeland adding 8 points. Aidan Hernandez scored 9 points for WW South before fouling out, while Matt Kienzle scored 8 points.
"We've had a lot of adversity, and the kids have been staying positive," said Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann. "We've just been talking about fighting through it. We're a team that has, I think, a good run in us. Especially if we can keep getting a little bit more healthy."
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