Wheaton North makes it two in a row with win vs. Glenbard West
Wheaton North's boys basketball team started a new streak.
Bouncing back from a stretch of seven straight losses, the Falcons swept their two weekend homes games with Saturday's 62-42 nonconference victory over Glenbard West.
Regardless of wins and losses, though, it turned out to be a tough couple of days for both teams. Standout Hilltoppers sophomore Braden Huff and Wheaton North senior Xander Mueller, a Northwestern football recruit, missed the game after suffering knee injuries on Friday.
While the extent of their injuries isn't known yet, the process of moving on began on Saturday.
The Falcons (12-12) leaned on depth and balance as nine players scored and three hit double figures. Their entire starting lineup scored by halftime and Zach Lorentsen and Sam Cascella added 8 points off the bench.
"The losing streak was hard, but we came back with confidence and kept playing hard," said Falcons senior Emanuel Wilson, who led the way with 15 points. "We knew if we kept playing hard we could be successful down the stretch. We've struggled to close out games, but we've gotten better lately."
Glenbard West (14-9) tried numerous lineup combinations in an effort to find a spark. It was a struggle without the 6-foot-9 Huff, who leads the team with 15.7 points and 7.6 rebounds a game.
"We gave a lot of kids opportunities," said Hilltoppers coach Jason Opoka. "It didn't work today, but we're going to refocus, come back Monday and try to make it happen. We'll keep working and try to build our confidence."
Diallo Phillips, who led Glenbard West with 17 points, scored twice out of halftime to narrow the deficit to 32-24. Wheaton North put the game out of reach by closing the third quarter with a 17-6 run.
Ben Bonga scored 13 points for Wheaton North while Garrett Horner added 10 points and 7 rebounds.
"I give a ton of credit to our guys for playing without (Mueller) and not letting it affect them mentally," said Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann. "We just wanted them to go out and play harder and tougher, and I was really happy with their effort. We gained confidence and we were able to sustain it the whole game."