Glenbrook South ousts Conant
Big-time players make big-time shots.
Wednesday night at the Class 4A Conant boys basketball regional, Glenbrook South's Dom Martinelli, a 6-foot-4 junior, scored 31 points on 14 of 18 shots from the field.
Will King assisted Martinelli on six of his baskets in the Titans' 47-33 win over the Cougars. Glenbrook South will face Niles West, which upset Niles North on Tuesday, Friday night at 7 p.m. at Conant for the regional title.
The Cougars, who finished their season at 12-16 and were the No 12 seed, gave fifth-seeded Glenbrook South all it could handle in the first half chess match.
"We did what we wanted to do in the first half," said Conant coach Jim Maley. "We wanted to play at our tempo."
The Cougars led 17-15 at halftime despite 10 points from Martinelli. Kaan Aygar pulled Conant to within 15-14 and Jonathan Kolev (6 points) hit a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left for the lead.
For the most part that was the end of the good news for Conant.
King, who was credited with 8 assists, began threading the needle in the second half.
Conant's last lead was at 23-20 on Kolev's 3-pointer with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Martinelli scored 6 points in a row for a 26-23 Titans lead. Aygar scored with 1:01 left to narrow the gap to 26-25.
Martinelli scored on an offensive rebound and then finished the quarter with a basket on an assist from King with one second left for a 30-25 lead.
Zach Carr scored all 6 of his points in a 10-2 run by the 23-8 Titans for a 40-27 lead and the Cougars could not recover.
"I just love to play," said Martinelli, a crafty left-hander. "King and I have known each other since sixth grade. We have a great friendship. If I'm open he finds me. I learned my moves by watching tapes and NBA games. I try to learn from those player's moves."
King is 5 assists shy of the school record of 213.
"I enjoy making the assists more than scoring," said King. "I help my teammates get better by making the passes. I was able to find them inside their zone."
"King is a great point guard," said Maley. "He's right up there with some of the better ones. He has really good vision.
"We felt that trailing by five points going into the fourth quarter the first four minutes would be a determining factor, but it went the wrong way for us."
"At halftime we talked about playing more patient," said Titans coach Phil Ralston. "We did a good job on shutting down (Raj) Mittal. He had four points in the first quarter but didn't score until late in the fourth quarter."
Anthony Wachal led Conant with 9 points on three 3-pointers.
"We didn't do what we needed to do in the second half," said Wachal. "They started scoring and making plays in the second half, and we weren't able to stop them. But I'm proud of the team. We battled and left it out on the court.".