Defense became contagious for Glenbard North's boys basketball team.
A blocked shot by a player on one possession led to a tipped pass by a teammate on the next. The Panthers became a machine in terms of creating turnovers Tuesday night.
Breaking out to a big early lead, Glenbard North rolled to a 53-40 DuPage Valley Conference victory over rival Lake Park in Roselle.
How good was Glenbard North's defense? Until the final minutes of the third quarter the Panthers (14-5, 7-2) limited Lake Park (13-10, 3-6) to fewer points than it had turnovers.
"We just took a full head of steam, came into Lake Park and did our thing," said Panthers senior guard Jeremiah Fleming. "Coach tells us to get up and pressure the ball and everything, and just get in the passing lanes and jump passes when we can. That's what we did."
Playing without starting guard Justin Jackson, who's in Texas this week to compete for the U.S. under-19 football team in Friday's International Bowl, the Panthers still showed tremendous athleticism while breaking out to a 12-3 lead after a quarter.
Behind 10 straight points by Fleming, who finished with 15, Glenbard North built a 27-5 advantage midway though the second quarter. Lake Park made only 4 of 25 first-half shots and committed 14 of its 20 turnovers.
"When you don't play well against a good team you get hammered," said Lake Park coach Josh Virostko. "I think it was one of the first games all year -- maybe Naperville Central at Naperville Central -- where we've come out and we've been intimidated. For some reason they had our number and took us out of what we wanted to do."
Glenbard North's balance came from Fleming, Kendall Holbert, who scored a game-high 16 points, and Chip Flanigan, who overcame foul trouble to score 12 points.
Marcus McDaniel scored 11 points to lead Lake Park, which came as close as 12 points away midway through the fourth quarter. Michael Karas scored all 8 of his points in the final period for the Lancers.
"I thought the guys really had a lot of energy and we took a great approach coming into this ballgame after Friday night," Panthers coach Joe Larson said of last week's last-second loss to Naperville North.
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