Glenbard South beats Glenbard East for eighth straight win
It's often been said that it's difficult to beat a team three times in one season.
Glenbard South made it look less difficult than it did in its previous two meetings against Upstate Eight Conference rival Glenbard East on Friday, winning its eighth straight game 73-61 behind an outstanding offensive night from senior Brandon Malone.
"They're like our rival so we wanted that first game and that was a hard game and the second game we almost lost because we had a lot of people in foul trouble," said Malone, who scored a personal-high 27 points. "We just wanted to play this game like our life was on the line. We wanted the 3-0 sweep so we just had to do what we had to do and stay motivated."
The Raiders (19-4, 11-2) never trailed and jumped on the Rams early in Glen Ellyn, breaking out to an 11-2 lead.
The Rams (16-8, 9-4) fought back but still trailed 34-24 at the break as the Raiders knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half.
"Glenbard East is a very good opponent, and we knew that coming in so we had to come out strong," Raiders senior Nick Plaso said. "We definitely did that tonight. We hit our shots early and played with good pace and didn't turn the ball over much in the first so that was a good start."
The first two meetings were decided by a combined six points, so it was somewhat surprising to see the Raiders open a 47-32 lead after senior Cam Goodrum's layup with 3:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Seemingly just a couple more baskets away of being on the wrong end of a blowout, the Rams finally found some success with their pressure. Glenbard East forced seven turnovers to go on an 11-0 run to pull within 47-43 after a pull-up jumper from DaRon Hall, who scored 23 points.
"Too little, too late," Rams coach Scott Miller said. "I just felt like the hole we put ourselves in early was too much to overcome and we kind of wore ourselves out. And (the Raiders) played really well and did a nice job defensively on us. They found the open man and did a really nice job."
The Rams' ability to fight back from a 15-point deficit on the road and pull within four points did not surprise Plaso.
"They just played really well there and we had some mental lapses on our side of the ball," Plaso said. "We threw some balls away that we definitely regret, but overall it was a very good game."
Plaso ended the offensive drought for the Raiders with a basket just before the end of the third quarter and then the Raiders delivered the knockout punch to open the fourth quarter.
Temcio, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds, started things with a basket and Malone followed with an uncontested layup, 3-pointer and free throw to open a 57-35 lead just 75 seconds into the fourth quarter.
"I put some of those turnovers on myself," Malone said. "I brought everyone in and said we have to finish this out to get the sweep."
Malone's previous high for points in a game was 22.
"A lot of us can stroke it and Brandon did it tonight," Raiders junior Cade Hardtke said. "He bit some big, big shots."
The Raiders are blessed with starters and role players off the bench that can contribute in many ways. That's certainly been key to their continued success and has them contending for a conference title.
"This was a very big win for us since we want to win that conference title this year so we've got to keeping plugging away game by game," Plaso said. "We're definitely clicking at the right time, heading into March and starting to really jell. It's been great."
Hardtke added 9 points and 7 rebounds, and Plaso had 8 points and 6 rebounds for the Raiders.
LaDonis Rogers scored 15 points and had 8 rebounds for the Rams.