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Glenbrook South jumped out to a quick lead Saturday afternoon and never looked back, defeating Amundsen, 63-49.
The final score was deceptive. For much of the game, the teams were separated by 20 points or greater, allowing Titans coach Ben Widner to shuffle a wide variety of players in and out. Nine Glenbrook South players made it onto the scoresheet, with nearly the entire roster earning playing time.
The Vikings eventually cut into the deficit in the third quarter, coming back from 25 down behind the hot hands of senior guards Michael Adebayo and Javier Orellana, who combined to make five three-pointers in the period.
“Those guys hit a few tough shots,” Glenbrook South senior forward Justin Busiel said. “But a few times they were also able to drive and the help side lost their man and they just kicked it out for wide open threes. We’ve got to be more disciplined and just know where shooters are on the court.”
The shots varied in ease, but Adebayo created his own opportunities, with a couple of instant fadeaway three-pointers. After senior guard Max Cohen gave Glenbrook South a 55-30 lead with a three-pointer, Adebayo and Orellana answered with two apiece to cut the Titans’ lead to 57-42 at third quarter’s end.
“It was just the defense that was kind of letting us down,” Busiel said. “I don’t know how many shots in a row they hit, but it felt like they hit 10 shots in a row. They were all open. We just got to work on keeping our defensive intensity up and not letting teams get back. We just got to finish them. Once they get down 20, we just need to close the door on them and not let them back in.”
That’s when Glenbrook South restored its dominance with a couple of key passes. First, junior center Conor McCarthy whizzed a pass over to senior guard Chris Jenkins, who drained the baseline jumper. Jenkins returned the favor with an inbound lob to McCarthy, who sent his defender up into the air with a fake, before making the unobstructed layup. From there on out, the Titans were able to seal the outcome with several highly successful rounds of keepaway.
“We got off to a really good start on the offensive end,” McCarthy said. “At halftime, we were up big, but then they kind of made a little bit of a run in the third quarter and we kind of had to respond to that and I think it was good that we did in the fourth quarter, that we definitely responded to that big run that they had.”
McCarthy finished with 14 points, as did Busiel. Meanwhile, four Amundsen players — Kurtis Williams, Nicholas Flowers, Orellana and Adebayo — finished with 11 points each, but the Vikings were only able to get five points out of the rest of their roster.