Schuamburg suffers loss to Glenbrook North
In an exemplary 25-year career at Glenbrook North that will end at the completion of this season, Dave Weber has experienced the highs of coaching, including a trio of trips to state final play in Peoria highlighted by a 2005 Class AA Championship.
This year has had its share of rough moments for Weber and his program as it endured a nine-game losing skid before snapping out of it with three straight wins before dropping a tough decision at Mid-Suburban West co-leader Palatine Saturday.
"There's been a lot of games where we've been right there," Weber said of his team that had no starters back from a 17-win team that won the Central Suburban North a year ago. "As a coaching staff we just stay positive. That's all we can do. You can't get down on them. We've made silly mistakes sometimes, but we've stayed positive and they've been positive."
And it was with that combination the Spartans left the other MSL West front-runner, Schaumburg, feeling an arctic chill as they bested the Saxons 53-46 Tuesday night, ending the host school's nine-game win streak on its Senior Night.
"We've lost a lot of close games this year," Weber said. "Tonight we were (up) against a really good team where we took over at the end. We got strong. We made our free throws in the end. I'm really proud of our players."
GBN (8-15) took the fight to 20-game winner Schaumburg from the opening tipoff. It led by as many as nine in the first half (24-15) on an 18-footer by Ben Foster with 3:01 left in the second quarter. It staved off a 10-2 Saxon run over the remainder of the half to lead 26-25 at the break.
After the Saxons (20-4) went on a 7-1 surge that left them up 40-35 just 54 seconds into the fourth, GBN would outscore them 18-6 the rest of the way starting with Foster's fifth 3-pointer of the game that got things rolling.
Then Spartan senior guard Nick Pavlovic took over, tallying 8 of his 11 points down the stretch.
Foster, a 6-foot-5 senior swingman who shares the captain's billet with Pavlovic and Jeremy Gertz, led all scorers with 22 points, featuring a 5 of 10 effort from beyond the arc. GBN shot 9 of 18 from there as a team.
He credited his co-captains for keeping the team together through both good times and bad on the year.
"We're all friends who want to play for each other," Foster said. "And it's a blast -- we all love it."
Junior Chris Hodges led the Saxons with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
"We knew they were good," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said of the Spartans. "We've watched them play. Tonight we have a lot to learn from about ourselves. This can be a learning experience that hopefully hurts and wakes us up in what we want to accomplish."