From the look of the final score, you might not think there were many key stretches of the boys basketball game between Glenbard South and visiting Fenton.
But even though the Raiders prevailed 80-51 Friday night in Glen Ellyn, the Bison played a tight game for much of the first half and their confidence appeared to be building. That is until Chaun Rickette hit a pair of 3-pointers that sparked a 14-4 close to the first half and the Raiders carried that into a 6-0 run in the first 30 seconds of the second half to take control.
Glenbard South, now 9-7 overall and 4-2 in the Metro Suburban Conference, needed the boost that Rickette and the team's full-court pressure delivered. While Fenton (0-16, 0-5) came in looking for its first win of the year, center Greg Wagner scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the first half and fellow post player Zach Jakalski also came up big in a game that was tied at 21 following a pair of free throws by the Bison's David Alden midway through the second quarter.
Rickette said the team may have been too pumped up prior to the game and had to regroup after Fenton came out so strong.
"Before the game, even in school, we all knew their record," he said. "We knew they didn't have any wins so we were pumped up and we wanted to come out and crush them from the get go. But we were overexcited."
But once the Raiders' trapping pressure took over, Fenton was done in by 26 turnovers and a number of transition baskets that turned the tide in favor of the home team.
"They shot the ball very well in the first half. Their bigs are very active and strong inside, so we had our hands full in the first half," Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke said.
"But defense has kind of gotten it done for us all year long. There in those spurts we were able to stretch it a little bit. We were able to turn it up a little in the third quarter."
Fenton coach Josh Payton knows his team can't afford many lapses, and while they played well for most of the first half, the game still got away in a hurry.
"Pressure has been an issue for us all year," Payton said. "Over the past several games we've done a lot to adjust our game plan to be more prepared for that … but you get those lapses. They were on pace to score around 58 points, but then they get those runs and the turnovers and it's an 80-51 game."
Rickette led a balanced attack with 23 points, but Tyler Scott and Alex Jeske also scored in double figures, two other players tallied 8 points, and all told 12 players scored for the Raiders.
"Those two 3s really helped," Rickette said of his back-to-back baskets in the final minute of the first half. "We went into halftime with a little happiness. Then we came out and just kept going and we took control."