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A rivalry win and a buzzer-beater got Wheaton North hoops off to 2-0 start

Wheaton North's Bryan Knoedler goes up between Wheaton Warrenville South's Aidan Hernandez (left) and Matt Kienzle during the Falcons' win over the Tigers on Friday.
Mark Busch -
Wheaton North's Bryan Knoedler goes up between Wheaton Warrenville South's Aidan Hernandez (left) and Matt Kienzle during the Falcons' win over the Tigers on Friday. Mark Busch -

WHEATON – First came a win over their rival.

Then came heroics by Matt Biegalski.

Add it all up and the result was a 2-0 start to the 2013-14 season for the Wheaton North boys basketball team.

On Monday, Biegalski knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Falcons a 63-62 win over the host Blazers in the opener of the Addison Trail tournament. The home team had gone ahead with four seconds left before Wheaton North’s senior guard swished a contested shot from the left wing.

“It really started with Nick Jordan throwing that ball in,” Biegalski said, “and then Nick Cerone had all the trust in the world for me with that shot [and passed me the ball]. I just let it go and was hoping it went in, and we were all excited when it did.

“It’s very exciting for us to start 2-0 and it’s a big step in the right direction for us.”

Biegalski finished with 14 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Andrew Slivinski totaled 20 points and Jake Heggeland also checked into double figures with 12.

Three days earlier, the Falcons had tipped off the 2013-14 campaign with a 59-44 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South. Both teams elected to start their game schedule later to offset hoped-for deep playoff runs by their football teams.

Wheaton North jumped out to a 13-0 advantage out of the gates against the Tigers and never looked back.

“We made the decision [to not have any games in November] because we knew we’d have a great football season,” Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann said. “And it worked out well. We were able to get the football players back and the guys have had a lot of energy the past couple of weeks.

“But you do think about all the scenarios that could happen in the first game and you certainly hope that you come out with great intensity and get off to a good start. The first quarter was huge for us.”

After the delayed start, the Falcons are now in a stretch of 13 games in 23 days. Up next is a home game against Naperville North on Friday.

“There are no easy games in the DVC,” Brackmann said. “Week to week, we’ve got to keep improving.”

As for Wheaton Warrenville South, the Tigers picked it up offensively after a slow start, but the early double-digit deficit was too much to overcome.

“I thought our first six, seven, eight shot attempts were really good,” coach Bob Szorc said, “they just didn’t go in the ring. But we will have the chance to rectify some things with a lot of games coming up.”

Wheaton Warrenville South will host West Aurora on Friday before playing Phoenix Military as part of the Addison Trail Tournament on Saturday.


Wheaton North 59

Wheaton Warrenville S. 44

Wheaton North leading scorers

• Andrew Slivinski, 25 points

• Jake Heggeland, 8 points

• Nathan Houlihan, 7 points

WWS leading scorers

• Matt Kienzle, 14 points

• Brian Summers, 8 points

• Aidan Hernandez, 8 points

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