Tosh champion Glenbard West lives up to its billing

  • Glenbard West's Bobby Durkin enjoys a moment against Lyons in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Bobby Durkin enjoys a moment against Lyons in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Caden Pierce, left, Ryan Renfro, Bobby Durkin, Braden Huff and Paxton Warden, right, get together at the start of the second half against Lyons in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Caden Pierce, left, Ryan Renfro, Bobby Durkin, Braden Huff and Paxton Warden, right, get together at the start of the second half against Lyons in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Paxton Warden passes around Lyons' Tavari Johnson in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Paxton Warden passes around Lyons' Tavari Johnson in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Ryan Renfro goes up for a basket as Lyons' Jackson Niego tries to defend him in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Ryan Renfro goes up for a basket as Lyons' Jackson Niego tries to defend him in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Ryan Renfro tries to get past Lyons' Niklas Polonowski in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Ryan Renfro tries to get past Lyons' Niklas Polonowski in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Caden Pierce is double-teamed by Lyons' Niklas Polonowski and Billy Bach in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday.

      Glenbard West's Caden Pierce is double-teamed by Lyons' Niklas Polonowski and Billy Bach in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Braden Huff passes against Lyons' Elliot Russell in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Braden Huff passes against Lyons' Elliot Russell in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbard West's Caden Pierce shoots over Lyons' Niklas Polonowski in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon.

      Glenbard West's Caden Pierce shoots over Lyons' Niklas Polonowski in the championship game of the Jack Tosh boys basketball tournament at York High School on Friday afternoon. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/31/2021 7:01 PM

Braden Huff and his Glenbard West teammates kicked back their heels on the bench, their day done early Friday.

Glenbard West entered the season as the state's No. 1-ranked team, and has done nothing to dispel that distinction. The Hilltoppers joined the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic for the first time, raising the profile of a 32-team event that's emerging as perhaps the area's preeminent holiday tournament. They did so to test their mettle at the midseason.

 

Safe to say, they passed with flying colors.

Glenbard West capped off a dominating run at the Tosh with its second blowout win over conference rival Lyons this season, running out to a 19-point lead after the first quarter and never looking back in a 60-28 win on Friday in Elmhurst.

Tournament MVP Huff had 21 points and 6 rebounds, Paxton Warden 12 points and 5 rebounds and Bobby Durkin 11 points. Ryan Renfro added 8 points and Caden Pierce 6 points and a Tosh championship game record eight assists for Glenbard West (14-0), which won its four games at York by an average margin of 25 points.

"Super fun. It's a good accomplishment for us to win this tournament," said Durkin, an Army commit. "I think as a team we are going to stay focused, keep taking it game by game and hopefully we are prepared to play our best basketball in March."

The two West Suburban Silver rivals first met Dec. 3 this season, a 71-34 Glenbard West win. Despite that lopsided margin, the Hilltoppers hardly acted like a team looking past the rematch.

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Durkin's 3-pointer, the first of his three in the first quarter, touched off a 17-0 run that gave Glenbard West a commanding 24-5 lead after a quarter.

"We knew despite the last matchup if we let our foot off the gas pedal then it would be closer than we would have liked," said Huff, a Gonzaga recruit. "We had to come in locked in, despite the last game and forget about it."

Lyons (11-3) itself came in riding an eight-game winning streak, beating previously undefeated Bolingbrook in Thursday's semifinal.

But the Lions had no answer for Glenbard West, hardly an unusual occurrence. It was the Hilltoppers' fifth win over Lyons in the 2021 calendar year.

An afternoon after a cold-shooting game in a 58-40 win over Rolling Meadows, Glenbard West shot a sizzling 56.5% in the first half, and for the game shot 43.8% (7-for-16) from beyond the 3-point arc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I think a lot of teams have had this happen to them. They're a bad matchup for everybody," Lyons coach Tom Sloan said. "The problem that we faced is that they came out and shot like crazy. They beat a very good Rolling Meadows team by double digits and did not play well. If they shoot it like that they are tough to handle, an understatement."

Durkin set the tone there, drilling three 3-pointers and scoring all 11 of his points in the first quarter. Huff, who shot 8-for-11 for the game, got in on the act, making three threes of his own as Glenbard West led 37-17 by halftime and emptied its bench for the entire fourth quarter.

"When you have five guys on the court making shots it's a great feeling," Durkin said.

On the contrary, Glenbard West more than kept Lyons standout guard Tavari Johnson in check.

Johnson, an Akron recruit, scored 28 points in Thursday's win over Bolingbrook, but managed just 2 points and took just two shots Friday.

"We funneled him," Glenbard West coach Jason Opoka said. "Every time he caught the ball we funneled him and made it hard for him to dribble penetrate."

Nik Polonowski led Lyons with 11, which committed five turnovers in the first quarter that helped fuel Glenbard West.

"We came out with an edge," Opoka said. "We just disrupted their passing lanes and their ability and confidence with our 1-3-1. They turned it over and we were able to gain that confidence."

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