Emotional Libertyville falls to Glenbrook South
Glenbrook South's Nick Martinelli and a stiffening Titan defense were too much for an emotional Libertyville boys basketball team Monday in Glenview.
Martinelli poured in 22 points while the Titans held Libertyville to without a field goal for over 8 minutes as Glenbrook South remained unbeaten with a 59-49 win over the Wildcats.
"I thought our half-court defense in the second half was fantastic," Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston said. "Rebounding was a point of emphasis at halftime. I don't know how many offensive rebounds they had in the first half, but it seemed like 25.
It was a heavy heart for Libertyville as the Wildcats took the court after former head coach and current school counselor Scott Bogumil passed away suddenly on Saturday.
"It is a sad day for us." said current Libertyville head coach Brian Zyrkowski, who was an assistant for Bogumil.
"He was a basketball junkie. He would want us to play and that is why we are playing. He was that type of guy."
After a moment of silence for Bogumil, Glenbrook South (7-0), which was playing its third game in the last four days, raced to 10-2 advantage.
Libertyville (2-2) finally found its footing behind the play of Blake Ellingson (11 points), Chase Bonder (15 points) and the energy of Cole Bender, who came off the bench to spark the Wildcats. They trailed 15-7 late in the first quarter but rallied to lead 26-23 on a 3-pointer by Ellingson with 3:29 left in the half.
That's when Martinelli went to work. The junior scored the final 6 points of the half for the Titans as they took a 30-28 lead into the locker room at the half.
Martinelli continued his offensive prowess while the Titan defense became stoic. Keeping Libertyville away from the basket and not allowing any second chance points, the Wildcats missed 11 consecutive shots.
"Our adjustments going into the second half were to play better team defense and get more rebounds," said GBS' Cooper Noard, who would finish with 12 points. "They are a team that takes tough shots and gets lots of rebounds. So they key to that was boxing out."
Meanwhile, Martinelli would score another 6 points as the Titans pulled away from a 32-all tie to go on a 14-2 run to pull away to a 46-34 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"My teammates really trust me, said Martinelli, who also had 7 rebounds. "They kind of put a smaller guy on me to chase me around. I was able to post up at times."
Zyrkowski credited Glenbrook South's defense.
"We have to give them a lot of credit," Zyrkowski said. "They did a real good job of executing their stuff. And they put us in difficult positions in the third quarter."