Saturday afternoon outcomes generally come down to one thing: wake-up calls.
It came a little earlier for Glenbard North's boys basketball team, which focused from the tip and never trailed in a 58-47 nonconference victory over Hinsdale Central in the Downers Grove North Winter Classic.
The Panthers (12-3) stormed to a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter on Justin Jackson's three-point play, but Hinsdale Central (12-5) unleashed a full-court press that powered a rally. An 11-0 run, capped by Chase Hamilton's three-point play, sliced the deficit to 45-43 with 2:31 left.
In the face of 15 second-half turnovers, including 9 in the fourth quarter, Glenbard North managed to stem the tide. The Panthers responded with 8 straight points to reclaim control.
Proof of the Panthers' poise came at the free-throw line, where they hit 22 of 25 attempts for the game and 16 of 17 in the fourth quarter.
"I think we just started getting casual with the ball and started throwing it away," said Panthers senior Kendall Holbert, one of three double-digit scorers with 14 points. "We settled down and started taking care of the ball. We've played them in the past and we know what they're bringing."
Not much went right for Hinsdale Central in the first half, starting with 11 turnovers and 5-of-22 shooting from the field. Glenbard North took advantage while extending its lead behind a trio of 3-pointers by Jeremiah Fleming, who led all scorers with 18 points.
Back-to-back 3s by Fleming pushed the Panthers' lead to double digits for the first time early in the third quarter.
"We weren't prepared to play and they took it to us," said Hinsdale Central coach Nick Latorre. "They had more energy, they were tougher, they got to every loose ball. They were hungrier than we were."
Matt Rafferty led Hinsdale Central with 14 points while Chase Hamilton scored 9 of his 12 during the fourth-quarter rally. Chip Flanigan had 13 points, 5 steals and 7 rebounds for Glenbard North.
"I was very proud of how we kept our poise there and finished off the game," said Glenbard North coach Joe Larson. "One of the biggest things about this team is they're so unselfish and they know each other's roles. They know what we've got to do offensively, what we've got to do defensively. And they feed off each other."
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