Glenbard South's Chaun Rickette is pretty much on his own with the analysis of his play Friday night.
In the Raiders' Metro Suburban Conference opener with visiting Timothy Christian, the sophomore guard described his play as "terrible." But after his team-high 20 points powered the Raiders past the Trojans 61-46 for their first win, no one else would have chosen that adjective to describe him.
Timothy Christian led 16-11 after one quarter and 19-11 early in the second following a 3-pointer by center Connor VanderBrug, but the Raiders defense tightened and Rickette, Alex Jeske and Tim Marshall then sparked the host's offense. The trio combined for 52 of the Raiders' 61 points on the night and helped hold off a Trojans team led by Daniel Leach's game-high 26 points.
"To me I didn't play a good game for my team, but they picked it up and we still came out with a victory," said Rickette, who was 10 of 10 from the line. "I wasn't really shooting well, but my free throws helped a lot."
With Marshall knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter, Glenbard South (1-3, 1-0) took a 41-36 lead into the fourth quarter. From there Jeske busted out for 12 of his 18 points in the final quarter thanks to a pair of 3s, and Rickette was 5 of 5 from the line down the stretch.
But it was the Raiders improved play on defense that also helped turn the game around. The Trojans went the final 6:46 of the first half without a point as their 19-11 lead turned into a 19-19 tie at the break. Timothy Christian's struggles started after VanderBrug picked up his second foul and spent some time on the bench.
"Coach told us we needed to get up defensively and pressure them and our defensive intensity definitely turned up," Jeske said. "We were able to get some turnovers and pick up the speed of the game."
Even so, Leach did his best to keep the game close, scoring 12 points in the third quarter alone, but the Trojans still couldn't hang with the Raiders' three-pronged attack.
"The team did a nice job moving the ball and whoever was open knocked down the shots," Jeske said.
Timothy Christian coach Jack LeGrand knows his team needs to play better for four quarters if it expects to win a lot of conference games.
"It got a lot more physical and a lot tougher in the second quarter," he said. "In the second quarter Connor got his second foul and we got him out and we got out of our rhythm. It's early, but we've got to get a lot better."
Raiders coach Wade Hardtke was glad to see all three of his leaders clicking on the same night.
"As we get going here we're going to have to be balanced, and those three stepped up," he said. "It was also big that we hit a lot of free throws, which we hadn't been doing as well before tonight."
The Raiders finished 19 of 24 from the free-throw line, with Rickette, Marshall and Jeske combining to shoot 16 of 16.