Regardless of the margin, regardless of the remaining time, York's boys basketball team fully expected a grind-it-out finish against Glenbard West.
Sure enough, a fourth-quarter rally by the Hilltoppers made things interesting. But not interesting enough.
York held off the Hilltoppers for a 47-35 West Suburban Silver victory Friday in Elmhurst.
"Our games are always like that with them," said Dukes coach Vince Doran. "And it's pretty consistent throughout the league. They're all tough games."
The Dukes (10-11, 2-5) held a 32-18 lead by the end of the third quarter after 4 straight points by Angelo Martucci, but Glenbard West (9-10, 1-6) began the fourth quarter on a 13-1 run to pull within 33-31 when Evan Taylor scored with 3:50 left.
The run stopped right there despite York managing only one fourth-quarter field goal that came in the final minute. Thirteen-of-sixteen free-throw shooting, including 6-of-6 shooting by Jordan Gray, allowed the Dukes to pull out the victory.
Glenbard West scored 17 fourth-quarter points to nearly match the first three quarters combined, but it wasn't enough.
"We didn't come out and play hard enough, we didn't move fast enough, and I don't understand why," said Hilltoppers coach Tim Hoder. "Everything we did was too slow. We operated at a different speed in the second half, but we can't wait for the second half to do that."
York's defense stymied the Hilltoppers while holding them to 9 first-half points. The Dukes had their biggest lead of 24-9 when Gray scored at the start of the third quarter.
Gray had 14 points and 5 rebounds while Erik Cohn knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 13 points for the Dukes. Connor Mullins led Glenbard West with 11 points. Kevin Nelson and Taylor scored 9 apiece.
"We made some free throws and a lot of our bench players made some great plays down the stretch, so that was good to see," Gray said. "We just gutted it out. We kept fighting and we played great defense towards the end."
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