The latest installment of the cross-town boys basketball rivalry between Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South included a rare neutral-site contest Tuesday night at Bartlett.
The results, however, were very similar.
Wheaton Warrenville South (23-6) advanced to Friday's Class 4A regional championship game with a convincing 53-37 victory -- its third win in as many tries this season against the Falcons (16-13).
The third-seeded Tigers got off to a fast start, grabbing an 8-2 lead in the first three minutes on back-to-back 3-point baskets from Parker Robinson and Matt Brodhead.
WW South extended its lead to 24-11 midway through the second quarter after a 7-0 run that was capped by senior guard Jake Healy's three-point play.
Healy -- who finished with a game-high 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals -- enjoyed the hot hand in the second quarter with 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field and three free throws. The Tigers took a 30-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"Shoot shots whenever you're open," Healy said of his torrid second-quarter strategy. "If they fall, they fall."
While the Tigers connected on 7 of their 11 first-half 3-point attempts, the Falcons managed just 5 field goals, including just one 3-pointer, during the first 16 minutes.
"We didn't get off to a great start and against them that's a pretty key factor," said Falcons coach Dave Brackmann. "In order to beat them they can't shoot as well as they did, we have to shoot better and we have to take care of the ball better.
"If those things aren't happening, nobody is going to beat them."
The Tigers put the game out of reach with 7 unanswered points to start the third quarter.
By then the lead had swelled 37-17 before the 14th-seeded Falcons managed their lone basket of the period on a baseline jumper by junior Deng Reng with 1:29 left in the quarter.
"I thought we were real good defensively, especially in that third quarter," said Tigers coach Mike Healy. "Zach (Harris) and Chase (Stebbins) were good in the third quarter, stepping up and getting in front of people."
The Tigers' swarming defense helped force 21 turnovers.
"What really keeps us going and keeps us in games is our defensive play," said Jake Healy, who epitomized the Tigers' calm, relaxed approach. "We're pretty experienced for the most part. We know what the playoffs are like."
Senior Josh Sorenson added 9 points and 8 rebounds for the Falcons.
"Our goal was to hang around and see what would happen in the fourth quarter," Brackmann said. "It never got to that point because we didn't get enough quality shots and we didn't make enough shots.
"We're disappointed but I'm super proud of these guys. We finished the season winning six in a row before tonight. It's a great thing when kids keep buying in and working hard."
It marked the first postseason meeting between the teams since 2005 when WW South defeated Wheaton North 60-46 in the regional finals.