Glenbard West beats Proviso East, now 11-0

 
By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/5/2021 9:59 PM

People change, governments change, socks change.

Same old Glenbard West boys basketball team.

 

The Hilltoppers steamrolled yet another opponent Friday to stay undefeated in the protracted 2021 campaign. The Hilltoppers (11-0, 4-0 West Suburban Silver) hit on 16 3-pointers on their way to an 80-50 rout of Proviso East.

It was senior night, and coach Jason Opoka started five of them. They staked Glenbard West to an early 8-3 lead, and the Hilltoppers never looked back. Juniors Braden Huff and Caden Pierce co-led the team with 13 points, while senior Aidan Murphy canned four 3s to finish with 12 points and 3 rebounds.

Later, Murphy reflected on his time way back when, on the freshman team.

"It was just a grind everyday down in the field house," he said. "Everyone was having fun. I've been with these guys since freshman and sophomore year so it's great to be with them today."

Murphy plans to play ball next year at Carnegie Mellon.

Senior Troy Glover transferred into Glenbard West as a freshman and didn't play basketball, then got cut sophomore year. Two years, and a lot of hard work later, he celebrated his team's win and his contributions -- 4 points and 5 rebounds (3 offensive) and one big block.

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"I worked every day right after I got cut to get better," he said. "I got taller, tried to get more coordinated. Junior year I made the team, JV. Coach gave me a lot of opportunities. I showed him what I could do, and now I'm a starter on varsity."

Glover was a big reason the Hilltoppers outrebounded Proviso East (4-5, 3-1 in the West Suburban Gold) by a clip of 23-8.

Another senior, Blake Bennett, hit a pair of 3-pointers and noted that freshman year was a long, long time ago. Still ...

"I remember it like yesterday," he said. "I really enjoyed being out here with these guys for four years. I thought freshman year was a great experience for me. I got to meet new people, I got to meet my teammates. I enjoyed it very much."

From an X's and O's standpoint, what was working for the Hilltoppers from 3-point land on Friday?

"I think we were just moving the ball well," Bennett said. "I think it's driving, penetrating, and then dishing it out to guys on the 3-point line. Just hitting shots."

Opoka said the seniors have accepted the leadership mantle from Day One.

"They never got down on the anticipation not having a season," he said. "They continued to be positive and work hard in the off-season to put us in a position to begin this season going full speed."

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