Down the stretch, it's Glenbard West
For a change Glenbard West's boys basketball team surged to a double-digit second-half lead on Friday.
The key at that point was keeping it.
The Hilltoppers did just that, holding off Downers Grove North in a 69-56 West Suburban Silver victory in Glen Ellyn.
It was a different story from Glenbard West's previous four games -- all losses, the last two by 2 points. On Friday the Hilltoppers (4-4, 1-1) maintained at least an 8-point advantage the entire fourth quarter.
"The last two weeks we had a close loss to Naperville Central and York, so this week in practice we really got after it physically and endurance-wise so we could play these late-minute games against tough teams," said Hilltoppers senior Kalen Starkey. "I feel like the work we put into practice this week definitely contributed to how we played in that fourth quarter."
Glenbard West led most of the game, building its first double-digit margin early in the second quarter on Nick Diver's 3-pointer. Downers North (4-5, 0-4) stormed back behind Jordon Kedrowski, who scored 9 of his team-high 17 points in the second quarter. Bowen Marks scored the first basket of the second half to put the Trojans ahead 25-24, but the Hilltoppers answered with an 11-1 to seize command.
Downers North overcame a 5-point period in the first quarter but couldn't do it again after managing only 5 points again in the third quarter.
"It's tough to win when you only have 5 points in a quarter," said Downers North coach Jim Thomas. "In our conference if you don't bring your 'A' game on the road it's going to be a tough night."
A balanced effort by the Hilltoppers included a 14-point game from Alex Passi, 11 points from Justin Pierce and 9 points from Danny Walker off the bench. Starkey, however, was the main force with 18 points and 10 rebounds, including 9 points in a frenetic fourth quarter featuring a combined 58 points.
Myles Farley scored 14 points for the Trojans before fouling out. Devin Blake added 11 points.
"Our margin of error is small," said Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder. "We can't afford to make mistakes down the stretch or, for that matter, we can't afford to miss a box-out in the first quarter. One of the things we stress is that all the possessions have the same value. The game's on the line as soon as they throw the jump up."
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