Titans boys weather the Spartan storm
For awhile, last Friday's boys basketball game resembled the first time Glenbrook North played Glenbrook South.
Then came the second half.
"It was kind of a bizarre game," said Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston.
Leading 29-17 at halftime, Glenbrook South held off a 42-point second half by Glenbrook North and ace sharpshooter Ryan Cohen to win 60-59 in Northbrook.
"Glenbrook North played physical defense, competed well against us," said Ralston, who earned his 392nd career victory.
"They did a great job of trying to take away a lot of our scoring action, but we were able to, in the fourth quarter, have up to a 19-point lead. But the wheels on our team kind of came off partially due to some foul trouble on a couple of our players," Ralston said.
"That, and Ryan Cohen hit three huge 3s in the last two minutes that allowed them to get within the final margin. Thank goodness we were able to build a big enough cushion to survive the flurry."
Spartan Cohen made five 3-point baskets overall and scored 31 points. Grant Kosla and Josh Fridman each added 11 points for the Spartans (10-3, 1-2 Central Suburban League South).
Glenbrook South (14-1, 4-0) got 14 points from both Nick Martinelli and Cooper Noard, who added 9 rebounds and 6 assists. R.J. Davis scored 11 points, all in the first half.
Due to the foul trouble, and also lacking forward Gaven Marr to COVID protocol, Ralston said he had to make late "creative substitutions," switching in players offensively and defensively by possession.
Benefiting from that strategy was 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Nick Taylor, who came off the Titans' bench to score a career-high 8 points.
Glenbrook South beat Glenbrook North 61-39 in the championship of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Dec. 30.
"I thought we played great defense in the first half, held them to 17 points in the first half, which was similar to our first game with them," Ralston said. "But we gave up far too many easy baskets in the second half."
Ralston said it's difficult to prepare for a second game against an opponent.
"Glenbrook North came ready to play, and they battled and competed," he said. "They deserved to make it a close game. We have to be better prepared next time."
Busy Glenbrook South visits Evanston on Friday and, on Saturday, hosts top Class 1A team Yorkville Christian featuring Jaden Schutt, committed to play next season at Duke University under incoming Blue Devils head coach and Glenbrook North graduate Jon Scheyer. The Titans host Conant on Monday and visit Hersey on Tuesday.
Glenbrook North visits Niles West on Friday before competing at Lake Zurich's MLK tournament Saturday and Monday, then travels to Aurora Christian on Wednesday.