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Falcons trying to fight off injury bug

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 11:13 a.m. CDT
Caption
Wheaton North's Mike Cerone dribbles past a Lake Park defender in Friday's home game. The Falcons fell in that one but responded with a win over Downers Grove North on Saturday. Scott Schmid - sschmid@shawmedia.com

WHEATON – Thus far, the toughest opponent for Wheaton North’s boys basketball team might be sprained ankles.

With leading scorer Andrew Slivinski already on the sideline since the second quarter of the Dec. 11 game against Stagg, the Falcons watched as Matt Biegalski came down on a defender’s foot and hurt his ankle in the first half of Friday’s 65-53 loss to Lake Park.

“It seems like it is one after another right now,” Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann said. “But we’ve had guys step up so far and we are going to need other guys to step up, as well.

“It’s too bad about Matt. He’s been playing great.”

The Falcons trailed by just six points at halftime and got to within four in the third quarter before the visitors slowly pulled away for the win.

“They wore us down, that’s for sure,” Brackmann said. “And they dictated the action all night long. They had us back on our heels right from the start.

“Our guys kept fighting, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”

Wheaton North did bounce back on Saturday to defeat Downers Grove North 56-40 in the final game of the Addison Trail Pre-holiday tournament and improve to 6-2 on the winter.

Next up for the Falcons is the Jack Tosh Holiday tournament at York High School, with the squad opening against Lyons Township at 9 a.m. today. Wheaton North competed in the Hinsdale South event last year.

“It’s a great tournament and it’s up to 32 teams,” the coach said. “Top to bottom, there are a lot of good teams and we are excited about the challenge.

“We’ve [scouted] LT a couple of times and they are a very good team.”

After the five scheduled games at York, the Falcons will have nine days off before resuming DVC action on Jan. 10 against Glenbard East. By then, Brackmann hopes to be healthy and have nearly a full roster.

“I think we have a deep team,” he said, “but right now we are lacking depth because of our health. Hopefully we will have a lot of depth sooner than later.”

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