Trevians' late 20-3 run pushes past the host Spartans
The term, "playoff atmosphere" gets overused, but New Trier and Glenbrook North provided a true example of that last Friday.
The Illinois High School Association released its Class 4A boys basketball tournament seeds on Feb. 11. Later that day the two Central Suburban League South rivals showed what fans might expect.
"It definitely was a playoff atmosphere," said Glenbrook North junior guard Ryan Cohen.
New Trier rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit, still down 10 points in the last five minutes, to win 53-50 on the Spartans' court in Northbrook.
"It was quite a game, and you know what? You want a game like that before you start in the playoffs," said New Trier coach Scott Fricke.
"The only thing I told our guys at halftime is that you better play tougher in the second half. There were no X's and O's; it was about the want, the will to play harder. And they did, they responded."
Trailing 30-17 at halftime, New Trier (26-3, 8-2) pulled within 38-33 on 6-foot-8 senior Jackson Munro's 3-point shot early in the fourth quarter.
Glenbrook North (20-7, 5-5) scored the next 7 points, but the Trevians responded with a 20-3 scoring run over the next five and a half minutes.
"New Trier made free throws down the stretch, we did not, so that was a problem," said Cohen, who led the Spartans with 15 points.
"But also, we can't take our foot off the gas. We were up 13 at halftime and New Trier kept cutting it down and down. We really just played stall ball and we really needed to get to the basket and get good shots again," he said.
Trailing 47-37 with 4:43 left in the fourth quarter, Trevians junior guard Jake Fiegen scored on a putback, followed 30 seconds later by 2 Karlo Colak free throws. Glenbrook North committed two straight turnovers and Fiegen made the Spartans pay with a pair of 3-pointers to tie the score 47-47 with 2:25 to play.
Josh Fridman's free throw broke the Spartans drought, but Munro converted Fiegen's inbounds pass to give the Trevians a 49-48 lead with 1:08 remaining. It was New Trier's first lead since Munro scored inside 17 seconds into the game.
"After halftime Coach Fricke really got on us, and it was really needed," Fiegen said. "We were playing selfish, weren't moving the ball, weren't playing hard on defense and just weren't playing good basketball; we weren't playing how we play. And that really got us going. A lot of momentum."
After Glenbrook North senior Grant Kosla went up for a shot in the paint and got sandwiched by two Trevians without a foul called, officials assessed a bench technical on Glenbrook North with 41.2 seconds to play. Fiegen and Colak made 4 straight free throws to lead 53-48 with 28.2 seconds to play.
A pair of Fridman free throws and two foul line misses by the Trevians allowed Glenbrook North a chance to tie with 3.3 seconds left. A nicely designed play by Spartans coach Quin Hayes, from inside the time line Fridman lofted an inbounds pass to Kosla in the lane. The 6-foot-4 center immediately kicked the ball out to Cohen, whose off-balance 3 attempt from the left wing bounced off the rim.
"I'm proud of my kids -- they played their hearts out, and I told them that in the locker room. Sometimes things don't go our way," Hayes said.
Glenbrook North had built an 18-7 first-quarter lead behind senior guard Blake Lidskin's trio of 3-pointers all from the left wing. New Trier shifted from man-to-man defense to a 1-3-1 zone that slowed the Spartans, but they scored the last 7 points of the second quarter for a halftime lead that proved perhaps too comfortable.
Lidskin scored 12 points, all on 3s, and Fridman scored 11 points for Glenbrook North. Fiegen and Colak each had 15 for New Trier, Munro with 13.
New Trier earned the No. 2 seed at the Class 4A Glenbrook South sectional, following only the top-seeded Titans, who beat Maine South Friday to win the CSL South. Rolling Meadows earned the third seed, the Spartans the fourth.
"This is going to help us in the playoffs," Hayes said after the loss. "We've got to learn how to win, how to close these types of games, and I think this is something that will help us in the long run.
"It hurts now, but it'll help us in the long run."