Buffalo Grove nips Glenbrook North
Buffalo Grove went into Northbrook and stole a nonconference boys basketball game away from Glenbrook North Saturday. The Bison forced 5 turnovers in the final 2½ minutes to rally to beat Glenbrook North 58-55.
"The toughness the guys showed was impressive," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "They kept fighting back and fighting back."
Trailing 55-54, Mike Nowakowski got a steal in the frontcourt and went in for a layup to put Buffalo Grove (11-8) up by one with 2:25 to play.
From there the teams traded 2 turnovers with Glenbrook North (9-9) having possession with 40 seconds to play. The Spartans got off a shot with 20 seconds left and got the rebound before calling timeout.
The Spartans then tried to get the ball inside to Alex Press, who had 10 of his 14 points in the final quarter. Three different Bison swiped at the ball with Tyler Kipley knocking it away.
"I saw the ball and it was deflected, "said Kipley, who finished with 9 points. "The ball was loose and I dove on the floor and tipped it up to Kam (Craft). We play at a high pace and are very well conditioned and our defense was very good."
Craft picked up the loose ball and was promptly fouled with 3.5 seconds to play. The freshman, who has been receiving high accolades for his play, acted liked a seasoned veteran and dropped both free throws for a 58-55 lead.
"I am confident in my free-throw shooting ability," said Craft, who finished with 13 points. "I just stepped to the line and made both."
Glenbrook North had a final opportunity, but Tom Trieb intercepted the inbounds pass to clinch the victory.
"It was a real tough week," said Peterson, whose team fell to Hersey in a Mid-Suburban East game Friday night. "It wasn't exactly like we drew it up. We obviously wanted to get the divisional win. I am really proud of the fight the guys had tonight."
With the dog days of high school basketball now in full swing, the importance of a strong bench is not overrated. Buffalo Grove, which was playing its third game in the last five days, showed how much that was needed Saturday.
Ethan Soifer came off the bench to nail three 3-pointers while Matthew Brunelli also came off the bench to net a pair of 3-point baskets to spark the Bison.
"I came in and tried to give us a spark," said Soifer, who is a senior and finished with 9 points. "I was able to get open and my teammates found me and I was able to knock some shots down."
Peterson said the play of his bench was key. Peterson credited Soifer and Brunelli along with the defensive play of Sloan Kipley and Connor Adams for giving the Bison the depth they needed.
"They are all confident players," Peterson said. "We preach team the whole year and the guys have bought in and accepted their roles. We take pride in our fourth quarters. I think part of it is our depth we have and the guys still have fresh legs and can make the plays when we need them."
Nowakowski, Trieb and Nick Cole each had 7 points while Brunelli finished with 6 points.