Glenbard South gets the quick start its been looking for, drops Elgin
One of the area's big prep hoop stories and in particular the Upstate Eight Conference is the return of new Elgin coach Brett Johnson to his alma mater after helming the South Elgin boys basketball program the past seven seasons.
"Our goal as a staff and as a program is (to) try and change the Elgin culture and bring it back to the tradition that it had," said Johnson a 2002 Elgin grad and former Maroon hoop alum. "We know (that) it's hard and it's difficult and the kids have to be willing to fight. We know it's in them. As a team they have they have to start deciding that you know what, we're tired of playing this way, let's believe in what the coaches are saying and see what happens."
For Johnson the road on which he seeks to restore Elgin to both UEC and area prominence is one that will require some more renovation and repairs. The Maroons dropped a 71-32 home decision to visiting Glenbard South Thursday evening at Chesbrough Fieldhouse.
The Raiders (4-4, 3-2) raced to an early 8-0 advantage in the opening minute of play thanks to nifty handiwork of senior guard D'Manual Payton. His 3-pointer and 3-point play were sandwiched around a Cam Williams layup that had South in cruise control as it never looked back.
After Maroon junior guard Maddox Hollian connected from beyond the arc to get the home team on the scoreboard at the 6:26 mark, another basket from Payton (game-high 18 points) keyed an 8-1 run that had the visitors from Glen Ellyn up 16-4 just past the halfway mark of the first (3:55).
The Raiders would lead 24-9 at quarter's end, 39-21 at the break, and 64-32 after three to commence a running clock in the final frame.
Payton, who added 5 steals, spoke of the importance of getting off to a good beginning which set the successful tone of his team's night.
"The last couple of games we started slow. We wanted to come out and just play hard and play our game," Payton said. "We're all team players, we all want to move the ball and score. We just want to get our teammates involved and get some points and get the win."
It was the point that Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke seconded.
"That's something that we've been stressing, something that we've been working on all season long and tonight was really the first night we've been able to see that," Hardtke said. "That was our biggest take away of the game."
Junior forward Jalen Brown joined Payton in double figures with 15 points.
Glenbard South hosts UEC front-runner Bartlett Tuesday while Hollian's 16 points paced the Maroons (4-6, 1-4) who host St. Edward in a Saturday afternoon nonconference matinee before a return to Upstate Eight play Tuesday at West Chicago.