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Article updated: 2/4/2014 11:12 PM
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Tempo works to Naperville North's advantage
 

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Tempo works to Naperville North's advantage
D.J. Wanberg

Tuesday night's 42-29 Naperville North win on its home court over Wheaton North was not about quantity.

The Huskies (11-8, 5-4 DuPage Valley Conference) came away with the win because of the quality of the offense, defense and ability to switch the tempo of the game on their terms.

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Senior Anthony Rehayem led his team with a game-high 12 points, with six others ending up on the scoresheet for a balanced offense that executed its game plan.

"Anthony is usually our top scorer. But it's a great game when everyone scores because it means the ball is being distributed evenly," said senior Jayson Winick, who finished with 5 points.

Baylor Griffin scored 8 points and Jelani McClain Jr. had 7 for the victors. Naperville North led 13-12 after the first quarter, and the game was tied at 21 at halftime. The Huskies shot 62 percent during the first two quarters with the Falcons (10-9, 4-5) shooting just 30 percent.

Bryan Knoedler helped Wheaton North make 5 of 6 free throws during the first half.

With 5:45 left in the third quarter, two consecutive turnovers converted into layups by Winick and McClain started a 7-1 run that put the Huskies ahead 31-23 at the end of 24 minutes.

Naperville North was 4 of 8 from the field during that span while Wheaton North was 0 of 7, scoring just two free throws. The Falcons scored just 8 second-half points.

"I think a key was the way we played defense. It was team defense. Everyone did their job," said Naperville North coach Jeff Powers.

He said the team played ball control in the first half and then sped things up in the second half as shown by the 18 transition points the Huskies made for the game.

"We had timely pressure and good ball control," Powers said.

With just less than two minutes left in the game, Griffin's basket gave the Huskies their second 10-point advantage of the final quarter, and then Naperville North finished the contest making 3 of 4 free throws with two coming from Winick and one from Griffin.

"We're learning how to work together and have team chemistry and that's toughening us and we're winning the close games," Winick said. Andrew Slivinski led the Falcons with 11 points. Nick Traversa followed with 7.

"We did not start the game with quality possessions, we had turnovers on the first three," said Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann. "Naperville North did a great job. Throughout the game they had long possessions when they had (the ball). Give them credit. They played much better."

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