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York's boys basketball team didn't make a field goal in the second quarter, then went scoreless for nearly four minutes to start the fourth quarter.
No problem. Not when the Dukes played defense like their conference title hopes depended on it.
Stifling defensive play helped keep York unbeaten in the West Suburban Silver with Friday's 51-38 victory over Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn.
After the game the Dukes (22-2, 9-0) didn't try fooling themselves into thinking this game was their finest hour. Three wins shy of a perfect run through the league, though, they'll do what it takes to get their first Silver title since 2006.
"It's a tough conference," said Air Force-bound Dukes center Frank Toohey, who scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. "Every road game, it's always hard to go into anyone's house. We just gutted it out. It definitely comes down to defense with us. We were struggling on offense, but our defense held us in it."
A key part of the defense was twice taking charges when Glenbard West (9-11, 2-6) leading scorer Corey Davis drove hard to the basket.
Davis sat the final five minutes of the second quarter with 3 fouls, then picked up his fourth in the opening minute of the third quarter and sat some more. With 6:46 left in the game, Davis fouled out with only 2 points -- 13 shy of his season average.
"When we do play well offensively, Corey creates a lot of things for everyone else," said Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder. "Him being in foul trouble hurt us. York is so physical, and that hurt us offensively. Everything that we did, they made it really difficult for us."
A 3-pointer by Justin Pierce, who led Glenbard West with 11 points, tied the game at 16-16 midway through the second quarter. Despite not making a field goal in the period, York actually built its biggest lead of the half at 24-16 with 8-of-10 free-throw shooting.
The second-half margin grew as wide as 11 points before the Hilltoppers sliced into the deficit early in the fourth quarter. Aiden Gould's three-point play made it 40-35, but the Dukes sealed the win from the line.
York knocked down 11 of 12 attempts from the line in the final three minutes, including four straight by Stanley Roberts to extend the lead.
"I give Glenbard West a lot of credit," said York coach Vince Doran. "The reason why we didn't play well is because they did a good job defensively and they made us work on the defensive end. Getting Davis out of the game was key for us. He's one of the best competitors in our league."
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