Glenbard South didn't let a slow start keep it from clinching a big nonconference boys basketball victory Tuesday night.
The Raiders (7-6) recovered from a sluggish first quarter to snatch a convincing 70-43 win against Downers Grove North (4-9) in Glen Ellyn.
From the start both teams had trouble getting shots to fall. At the end of the first quarter, the Raiders led 9-6.
Glenbard South's pressure defense and improved shot selection paved the way for its 7-0 run to start the second quarter. The Raiders seized a double-digit lead at 16-6 with 6:15 remaining in the first half. Alex Jeske sank a 3-pointer to help spread the lead, forcing Downers Grove North to take a timeout.
The Raiders used the second quarter to distance themselves from the Trojans, outscoring them 23-8.
"We did a nice job getting into gaps off the ball and our back-side guys were active, so those two things I think really helped us out in the second quarter," Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke said.
By halftime the Raiders no longer looked sluggish, taking a 32-14 lead into the locker room.
"All season long our defense has been probably our best offense," Hardtke said, "so when we were able to get that going it certainly helped us in the second quarter."
Glenbard South forced 17 Trojans turnovers throughout the game, 12 in the first half.
"They pushed us away from the basket and pressured the lanes a little bit," Downers Grove North coach Jim Thomas said. "We turned the ball over, which led to the easy buckets for their quick little speedy guard Rickette, who did a very nice job tonight."
Senior Chaun Rickette led the Raiders with 18 points, all in the last three quarters. Jeske scored 12 and John Marks chipped in another 10 points for the team.
The Raiders used high-intensity pressure defense to continually increase their momentum on offense.
"When we're at our best is when we're getting inside and looking to kick back out or looking to score off that penetration," Hardtke said.
Relentless defense by Glenbard South was responsible for the Falcons shooting 9 for 39 from the field going into the fourth quarter, when it led 46-27.
"When you're taking contested shots all night long, you're in for a bad night in high school basketball, because there's better shots out there to be had," Thomas said. "We just didn't work for them."
Ray Greco scored 7 points, while Colin Kramper and Myles Farley both added 5 points for the Falcons.