Glenbard West gets shots to drop
If there's one thing Glenbard West's boys basketball players love to do, it's shoot in Biester Gymnasium.
The Hilltoppers took full advantage of home hoop advantage Monday night.
Knocking down five of its eight 3-point shots in the first quarter, Glenbard West's sizzling early shooting powered the way to a 63-46 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South in the Class 4A Glenbard West regional quarterfinals in Glen Ellyn.
The 14th-seeded Hilltoppers (12-15) get the chance to defend their home court again at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals against No. 2 Benet (21-7). York and Naperville Central play in the second semifinal at 7:30 p.m., with the winners of both games meeting in Friday's regional title game.
"We've always played well at home this whole year," said Hilltoppers senior Aidan Gould. "The fans were amazing all night. It was great to play at home and give these fans a win."
Glenbard West ripped to an 11-2 lead as Gould and Alex Passi combined on the five first-quarter 3-pointers. The Hilltoppers built a 21-9 lead by the end of the period. WW South (11-18) pulled within 29-26 on an Austin Polezoes 3-pointer coming out of halftime, but that's as close as the Tigers came.
Gould, who scored a game-high 17 points, answered with 6 straight points to force a WW South timeout. The Tigers never narrowed the gap to closer than 7 points the rest of the game.
"You just have to keep playing and find a way to get back in it," said Tigers coach Mike Healy. "They're good. Offensively they're talented and have a lot of pieces. We just couldn't get stops and didn't shoot the ball real well."
In addition to Gould's big night, the balanced Hilltoppers received 15 points and 10 rebounds from Justin Pierce, 13 points from Passi and 8 points with 12 boards from Kalen Starkey.
WW South senior guard Josh Ruggles closed his stellar senior season with 14 points. Polezoes and Eric Rasch each added 8 points.
"We had a real nice turnout of kids tonight, and I think that really helps keep the energy up," said Hilltoppers coach Tim Hoder. "Anytime you can start out hot like that, it's a big plus. The kids feel confident shooting here. Those kind of things pay off in your own gym."
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