New Trier tops Glenbrook South in typical CSL South grinder
The focal point is obvious when New Trier's boys basketball team takes the court.
Tyler Van Dorp looks every bit the 6 feet, 10 inches listed on the Trevians' roster.
There's much more to New Trier, however, as the Trevians showed Dec. 9 in a 52-46 Central Suburban League South win over Glenbrook South in the Titan Dome in Glenview.
"We can go big, but we can also put a smaller lineup in and when we do that all five guys can handle the ball and shoot. At the end of a game when a team is trapping us and double-teaming and pressuring us, we go with the extra guard," said New Trier coach Scott Fricke.
Several key players are still honing their varsity chops.
"Tyler Van Gorp, our big kid, didn't play at all last year, (though) he was on the team. The sophomore, Colby (Smith), played sophomore last year, so he doesn't know exactly what we need," Fricke said.
"(Junior) Logan Feller played on the sophomore team. We really have (junior) Jake Fiegen who was in big games, and then (senior) Evan Kanellos, our point guard, played a little bit. So I think the longer the season goes on I think we'll get better and better. That's the plan."
It worked when New Trier followed up Saturday with a 65-64 win over previously unbeaten Rolling Meadows.
Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston's plan is to avoid the slow starts his Titans have endured against what he called a "buzz saw schedule." Glenbrook South (6-3, 0-2) regrouped Saturday with a 59-56 win over Oak Park.
"This is probably the third or fourth game where we've allowed this to happen, where a team gets a big lead on us and we're trying to fight our way back in the fourth quarter. You can occasionally win those games, but the percentages are very low in those games, and you're expending a lot of energy to do that," Ralston said of the New Trier contest.
"We've got to do a better job sharing the ball, we've got to do a better job working for each other, making plays for our teammates, and I think we forced a lot of shots."
New Trier's Smith, in pink sneakers, opened the scoring with the first of his four 3-pointers. Fiegen, recipient of great ball movement, reeled off his team's next 9 points for a 12-6 lead.
Gaven Marr, one of Glenbrook South's senior veterans with Rodell "R.J." Davis Jr., countered with 6 straight points to tie the score 12-12 after one quarter.
New Trier (7-1, 2-0) began the second quarter with 2 Van Dorp baskets, each assisted by Smith, to launch an 11-2 run. It led 25-17 at halftime.
New Trier made 10 of 21 shots in the first half, 18 of 32 for the game.
"I think tonight we had a pretty good showing points-wise," Marr said, "but I think we can just brush up on defense. Some mistakes we just can't let happen.
"Work on things like communication, rotations, things like that, because as a program we take pride in our defense, so whenever things like that happen both our coaches and us as players, we consider that unacceptable."
New Trier led 27-17 on Van Dorp's 8-foot pullup jumper to start the third quarter, and led by 8 before Titans guard Nate Kasher, 6-foot-7 Nick Taylor and Davis trimmed the deficit to 34-30 after three quarters.
New Trier again went up by 9, but the Titans rallied within 49-44 with 45.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Davis scoring while fouled for a three-point chance. Taylor rebounded the free throw, but the Titans missed a 3-point try that could have cut the margin to 2.
Free throws by Kanellos, J.B. Yoshitani and Fiegen outnumbered 2 by Marr over the last 33 seconds.
Fiegen led all scorers with 20 points. Smith scored 13 and Van Dorp 8 for the Trevians. Marr led Glenbrook South with 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Davis scored 11 points and Taylor had 8.
"It was a great win, a great road win. It's hard to win in this place," Fricke said.
"I think we have a very high potential," Fiegen said. "We're very young and kind of new to playing with each other. This was a big game for us. I think we played together and with pace. We took great shots, I think."