Senior Rowan McGowen owns many clutch baskets throughout his time on the Wheaton North boys basketball team.
Last season McGowen hit a late 3-pointer that defeated Glenbard West. An earlier game-winning 3 helped his freshman team secure the DuPage Valley Conference title.
McGowen's four 3s Friday weren't quite as dramatic, but his first contributed to the spark for another sweet victory -- 59-35 over Glenbard North on Senior Night in Wheaton after the Falcons trailed 18-14 midway through the second quarter.
"We really picked up our defense and obviously we made some shots. I think we're a really unselfish team and we were just able to find the open guy," said McGowen, who finished with 16 points.
"For most of (us seniors), it's been three or four years and even before that playing together. I think that really helps our team chemistry, just knowing each other's strengths. And the leadership obviously is huge."
The Falcons (18-6, 9-4) have 10 seniors, eight of whom dressed and played. Senior Luke Anthony had 17 points, three 3s and 7 steals. Senior Jack Bennett added 6 points, and Bennett and senior Matt Brcka each had 6 rebounds.
Glenbard North (11-12, 4-9), which started five seniors, received 11 points from Aquil Spates and 7 each by Myles Moore and Kibet Chepyator, who blocked two shots. Spates, Chepyator and Adam Jaszka had 6 rebounds each.
With defensive help from a 1-3-1 zone extended beyond midcourt, the Falcons ended the second quarter with a 12-0 run for a 26-18 halftime lead. McGowen's 3 gave them the lead for good at 20-18 and junior reserve Deng Reng had 5 points in the run.
Wheaton North led 43-25 after three quarters with help from a 10-0 run on another McGowen 3 and 7 points from Anthony.
"A good night. We want to send the seniors away with a real good memory. I think we got one," Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann said.
"(Glenbard North) came out with a lot of energy. We had a few defensive lapses and we just weren't putting the ball in the basket. We knew eventually we would start making shots. We just wanted to shore up the defense (with the 1-3-1)."
In the second quarter the Falcons made 5 of 12 shots and all five free throws. Glenbard North made 6 of 11 shots in the first quarter but just 5 of 28 over the second and third combined with 10 of its 22 turnovers.
"We had a couple of turnovers there and we missed a couple of good looks that we had. They did some good things offensively, hit some big shots," Glenbard North coach Joe Larson said.
"I thought we played pretty well there the first half. We just need to sustain it more and longer into halftime. Third quarter, we were really cold to start."
McGowen plans to play NCAA Division III basketball at one of three schools. Anthony will play football at Dayton.
"(Tonight) was a little emotional because I've got only so many games left and it's really been a fun ride," Anthony said. "I'm really trying to cherish it. I just want to end on a good note."
The Falcons' only senior reserve to score was Brendan Garner, who nailed a shot in the final minute from the top of the key just inside the 3-point arc.
"The guys were yelling at me to shoot the ball. I just figured why not. I'm glad it went in," said Garner, who plans to play basketball at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
"There's some great memories, like freshman year (with McGowen's shot) to win conference, beating Wheaton South at their home place last year and getting second in conference."