Pierce breaks Glenbard West scoring mark
After securing the outright West Suburban Silver title earlier in the week, Glenbard West's matchup with Proviso West on Friday might have have seemed all that important on paper.
But on Senior Night in Glen Ellyn, that certainly wasn't the case.
Taking on a Panthers' team who dealt them their first loss of the winter back on Jan. 22, the Hilltoppers (22-3, 10-2) extracted a measure of revenge with a 62-52 victory. The squads could meet for a third time in the upcoming semifinals of the Class 4A Hinsdale Central regional.
"Being Senior Night, we wanted to go out with a win," said senior guard Alex Passi, who scored 16 points. "Plus it is still a conference game, it still means a lot to us even though we already clinched. And we might play them in the playoffs so it was nice to get a bit of momentum for that. It was a big game for us."
Justin Pierce led all scorers with 28 points, knocking down 11-of-12 attempts from the free-throw line, and with his 20th point of the night, became Glenbard West's all-time leading scorer. He eclipsed Michael Mache (1,357 points), who graduated in 2012. John Shurna is now third on the list.
"It is still sinking in," said Pierce, who also contributed 12 rebounds. "It's pretty amazing now when I think about it. It never was a goal of mine. I'm averaging 24-25 points a game (this season) and I didn't think I'd have to do that. I'm just trying to do whatever our team needs me to do. Tonight I needed to score. It's special to pass names like Shurna and Mache and now I'll have my name in there forever. "
The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 20-8 lead after the opening eight minutes, with the help of two 3-pointers from Brian Cochrane. That advantage swelled to 35-17 by halftime and 54-28 at the end of three quarters.
"I told the kids, it went as well as we could have hoped," Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder said. "All of the seniors played significant minutes, we got everyone else in the game and we played well in stretches. And we won. It was as good as a Senior Night can go and a great way to end the conference season."
Cochrane finished with 8 points. Nick Diver had 5 points and Michael Zybko chipped in with 8 rebounds.