Daniels, Addison Trail slow things down
Addison Trail senior forward J.T. Daniels welcomed the change of pace on Tuesday.
After playing at a frenetic pace against Willowbrook on Friday, Daniels fully showcased all his diverse basketball skills against Glenbard North.
Daniels scored 13 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 4 assists to spark the Blazers to a 66-49 win over the Panthers in Addison.
Adem Mehmeti led the Blazers (6-1) with 16 points, Justin Werderitch added 14 and A.J. Carlson tallied 12 in a balanced effort. Jordan McQuarter scored 12 points and Jimmy Zay hit two 3-pointers to end with 10 for the Panthers (1-4).
The 6-foot-3 Daniels impacted the game on several levels, with his point-forward play on offense, by finding open teammates on drives, posting up and playing solid defense. Daniels said he was happy to see a man-to-man defense and a slower game for a change.
"When teams come and collapse, it's really easy to see the matchups and who is open and cutting and I just got the ball to my teammates when they were open," Daniels said. "Compared to the teams we have played so far, which have played a lot of zone, (Glenbard North) was the first team that came in and played man (defense) and that was small. I was able to finally post up and hit open guys."
The Panthers managed to stay with the Blazers during an evenly matched first quarter, but Daniels found Werderitch for a cutting layup to give the hosts a 26-17 lead early in the second quarter.
Late in the second, Werderitch scored on a putback and Daniels added a driving lay-in to pad the lead to 37-22 at halftime.
Carlson, a junior guard, opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and a layup off an assist from Alex Conrad to raise the lead to 44-24.
"We were forcing them into some turnovers," Addison Trail coach Brendan Lyons said. "We're a pretty young team and tried not to give them hope in the second half. We thought the third quarter was going to be big."
The Panthers, though, didn't give up. Despite enduring a cold-shooting spell in the second and third quarters, Zay hit a 3 to spark a fourth-quarter run that cut the margin to 54-43 with just under five minutes left.
But the Blazers reeled off a 11-4 run to put the game away.
"We have some depth and some guys that are still injured, so just starting to get guys to play in different role," Lyons said. "We like our depth and versatility and really telling our guys to step up and play."