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Host Wheaton North didn’t make a basket in the fourth quarter of its semifinal Friday night, but the Falcons had enough of a lead to hold off Glenbard South.
Wheaton North led by 10 points at the end of the third quarter, but was able to convert enough free throws to book a trip to the championship game of its own tournament at the Neibch Holiday Classic. The Falcons reached the finals for the first time since winning in 1991.
Defense put Glenbard South away early, but the Raiders (13-4) climbed back behind Stefi Bazigos’ 15 points and Tomei Ball’s 12 points.
Mandy Traversa led the Falcons (11-3) with 14 points, but the senior guard scored only three points in the second half on free throws. She made two foul shots to give Wheaton North a 42-32 lead to end the third quarter. The Falcons made 7 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to just prevent Glenbard South from making a rally. After a pair of free throws by Theresa Scheet, Glenbard South trailed 46-43 with 35.6 seconds remaining, but could not get closer.
“Our goal was to win this thing at home and defend this court,” Traversa said of the tournament title.
Wheaton North opened a 29-7 lead in the second quarter after holding the Raiders to 0-for-10 shooting in the first quarter. Glenbard South trailed 15-3 to end the opening quarter.
Junior Chrissy Baird added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Wheaton North, which went the final 11 minutes without a basket. Wheaton North also went 4 1/2 minutes without a field goal to end the second quarter.
“We held our own,” Traversa said. “We could hold our heads high because we got the game.”
The Falcons will play top-seeded and No. 22 Glenbrook South (14-3), a 52-28 winner over Lyons (9-5), at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the championship game.