Glenbard West puts on a show in season opener
After a scintillating opening act, one can only imagine what Glenbard West has for an encore the rest of the season.
In their much anticipated season opener, the Hilltoppers put on a show Monday night at the District 87 tournament.
Starting off with a Caden Pierce dunk, Glenbard West never let up in an 80-27 victory over Glenbard South before a large crowd in Glen Ellyn.
"We are all really excited, especially not having a complete season last year with COVID," Pierce said. "Obviously you have that anticipation with the rankings and all that but we don't pay any attention to that. But it draws a good crowd and we are thankful for that."
The Hilltoppers forced 14 turnovers in the first quarter, limiting the Raiders to just six shots. Pierce scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in that frame as the home team began with a 13-0 run and eventually led 32-5.
That advantage swelled to 54-14 by halftime. Glenbard West finished the game with 14 steals, four from Paxton Warden.
"Our goal as a team was to get a certain amount of deflections," Warden said. "I thought as a team we played great defense in the full court and in our zone in the half court. That was an emphasis coming into the game."
Warden also scored 11 points. In fact, all of the Hilltoppers starters entered into double figures -- Bobby Durkin and Braden Huff had 12 points apiece and Ryan Renfro added 10.
Glenbard West finished with five dunks, including a tip dunk by Huff in the third quarter.
"It was a really good environment," Glenbard West coach Jason Opoka said. "The crowd was fantastic and our players came out with a lot of passion.
"Our length disrupted what they wanted to do. We want to put ourselves in position to get tips, deflections and steals. We feel that can create transition opportunities for us."
Armon Yarbrough led Glenbard South with 10 points and D'Manuel Payton scored five. Jalen Brown contributed five rebounds and two blocked shots.
"They are an awfully good team," Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke said. "They will go a long way. They are long, they are tough to defend and they are tough to match up with. Makes for a long night."