Smiles were in good supply after the Wheaton North boys basketball team ended its team meeting after beating host Lake Park 65-52 on Friday night.
The reason the Falcons were in a good mood was a strong performance on offense just three days after scoring just 29 points in a loss to Naperville North.
"Our goal to start the game was to have great intensity throughout but especially at the defensive end," said Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann. "Holding Lake Park to 4 points in the first quarter gave us momentum. But they're a good team and we knew they would make a run.
"We played much tougher. We got the loose balls. We rebounded. This was a good team win."
Nick Traversa led Wheaton North (11-9, 5-5 DuPage Valley Conference) with 14 points. Matt Biegalski and Jake Heggeland each had 13 points.
It was Biegalski's first game back after missing seven weeks with a high ankle sprain.
"Everyone was on their game tonight. It was very fun to be a part of," Biegalski said. "We started working on setting better screens Wednesday in practice and I think we ran better screens tonight."
It was all Falcons in the first eight minutes of the game when the team shot 6 of 12 from the field to lead 17-4. The Lancers (13-11, 3-7) were ice cold at 1 of 13.
But Lake Park answered every point from then on with the teams scoring 48 points apiece in the final three quarters. The Lancers, though, couldn't dig out of the hole made in the first quarter, but they came close.
Wheaton North led 32-21 at halftime. Lake Park opened the third quarter making 3 of 6 shots to cut the Falcons' advantage to 34-27 when Brackmann called a timeout with 5:14 left in the period.
Later, Cameron Van Aswegen, who scored a game-high 15 points, all of them 3-point baskets, sank one of them to pull his team to within 35-30 with 3:55 remaining. However, the Falcons closed the quarter on a 12-2 run to lead 47-32.
Van Aswegen cut the Wheaton North lead to 52-45 with just less than five minutes left in the game, but the Falcons got their double-digit lead back and kept it the rest of the game.
Marcus McDaniel scored 13 points for the Lancers and Sean Moore had 12.
Coach Josh Virostko said his squad needs to get back to the type of team play that made it successful earlier this season.
"When we were winning games and were 13-6, we were doing it together as a group. We were guarding as a group," he said. "Every possession, we were moving the ball until somebody got a good look. Now, it's, I'm going to do it myself."