Glenbrook North's scoring run holds off rally by Glenbrook South
Glenbrook South's R.J. Davis swished a fourth-quarter 3-pointer that brought the Titans all the way back from a 20-point deficit.
Glenbrook North's Ryan Cohen saw that and thought: "It's my turn. I knew it's a game of runs and our run was coming."
Correct, a 13-0 run that regained the Spartans' lead and provided cushion to secure a 73-66 Central Suburban League South victory Tuesday in Northbrook.
"Especially on senior night at home we definitely wanted to win," said Glenbrook North point guard Josh Fridman, who poured in 13 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter.
Cohen scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor; Fridman made 12-of-17.
With two CSL South games remaining Glenbrook North (22-3, 6-2) aims to either tie New Trier (22-4, 7-1) for the conference title or win it outright.
The Spartans on Friday visit Maine South, 0-8 in league play, before ending the conference slate Feb. 10 in Winnetka. New Trier is on the road Friday against hot Evanston.
Hot was the word for Glenbrook North in the first half on Tuesday. The Spartans made 16 of 25 first-half shots and led 9-0 before Glenbrook South (19-7, 4-4) got on the board midway through the first quarter on three Josh Wolf free throws.
Coach Quin Hayes' team, who remembered their 63-48 loss to the Titans on Jan. 6, got balanced offense early from Fridman, Cohen, Owen Giannoulias and, off the bench, Sam Lappin. Meanwhile, Dylan Goldin was in the process of containing Glenbrook South's 6-3 senior scorer, Gaven Marr.
"He was just disrupting their whole offense," Fridman said.
A Lappin 3 followed by a Fridman floater gave the Spartans a 37-17 lead with 3:05 left in the second quarter. That quarter started with the rare dunk by the 6-3 Cohen, who picked up a loose ball at half-court and slammed it two-handed.
"I dunked a little bit earlier in the season and got some tendinitis in my knees so I stopped dunking to protect my knees," Cohen said. "But this game, with the adrenalin flowing, I got a fast break, had the opportunity, I had to dunk it."
Glenbrook South put itself in better position after Nick Taylor and Nate Kasher each converted three-point plays to trim Glenbrook North's halftime lead to 39-26.
As Cohen noted, momentum is huge in basketball. As sound as the Spartans' shooting was in the first half, it faltered coming out of halftime. Glenbrook North missed its first 8 shots in the third quarter, allowing Kasher, Taylor, Davis and Marr to twice pull within 3 points before entering the fourth quarter trailing 47-42.
"We just said, listen, they're outworking us, you have to match their intensity," said Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston. "We have to be able to do that, and we're not going to be able to get it all back at once, you've got to just chip away at that lead and see if we can get it back into single digits and then we'll take it from there."
Titans junior J.P. Hubbard started the fourth quarter with a 3 from the left baseline, and Davis sank another from the right wing to give Glenbrook South its sole lead of the game, 48-47, with 6:47 remaining.
Glenbrook South held its lead 21 seconds.
Cohen, believing it was his turn, scored on a putback, was fouled and made the free throw, then hit a 3 from the right wing.
"And after that we just got back in our flow," said Fridman, who followed with 7 straight points for a 60-48 Spartans lead with 4:09 to play.
"When you come out so flat and then you get down, it's going to take a lot of effort to get back," Davis said. "I commend us, we came back and took the lead, but I think we just kind of ran out of energy."
Threes by Hubbard and Wolf and a strong effort by 6-foot-7 Nick Taylor, who scored a team-high 18 points, got the Titans back within 5 points several times. The last was 71-66 with 18 seconds left before Fridman clinched the win seconds later on a coast-to-coast layup.
Lappin scored 14 points and Giannoulias 9 for Glenbrook North. Davis scored 14 points and Kasher had 11 for Glenbrook South.
"Valiant effort by our guys," Ralston said, "but credit GBN for playing better than we did today."