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North girls tested by tough competition

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 3:02 p.m. CDT
Erica Benson - Wheaton North's Kelly Thornton receives a pass during play at York's Thanksgiving Tournament Nov. 27. Thornton and the Falcons recently won back-to-back games to improve to 5-4 on the year.

WHEATON – The 5-4 record Wheaton North’s girls basketball team had after Monday’s 52-45 win over Glenbard North might not be earth-shattering.

But that early season mark doesn’t tell the whole story for an inexperienced Falcons team.

“We’ve played three teams who are in the top 10 in the state,” Wheaton North coach Dave Eaton said. “We played Prospect pretty close, we took Wheaton Warrenville South towards the end and we played Neuqua Valley close in the first half. Of our four losses, three are to top teams. That bodes well for our team.

“I like where we are at. Now, because we are so young, we just have to get consistent.”

Against the Panthers on Monday, Wheaton North showed some of that inconsistency. The home team led by as many as 11 points in the opening half before Glenbard North cut the deficit to two on a pair of occasions in the fourth quarter. But a three-point play from Emari Jones with 1:03 remaining sealed the victory.

Jones finished with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists, Chrissy Baird totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds and Kelly Thornton had 11 points and three assists.

Two days earlier, the Falcons came away with a 59-52 decision over Glenbard South behind 16 points from Thornton, who connected on four 3-pointers. Baird added 12 points, Jones had nine and Kadejia Berkley finished with eight.

“I love our balance,” Eaton said, “and our defense is coming along. They are doing a good job.”

On Dec. 5, Wheaton North dropped a 58-45 decision to Wheaton Warrenville South in a game that was tied at halftime.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier as Wheaton North will face another highly-ranked team in Rolling Meadows on Tuesday.

“I love to challenge them,” Eaton said. “I think that is the only way to get prepared. We haven’t beat that top 10 team yet, but we’ve been close.”

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