Glenbrook South still looking to improve despite victory over Lake Forest

For the Glenbrook South varsity boys’ basketball team, expectations have been set. 

This is a Titans team that believes it has the makeup to compete for a state championship this season. So even though Glenbrook South (5-0) convincingly defeated Lake Forest, 71-54, inside the Titan Dome for its first home game of the season, the takeaway was how the team could still make improvements. 

And it starts with playing better team defense on back cuts and limiting ball watching. So, what needs to be done to address those areas?

“We are going to watch film, that’s where it starts,” Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston said. “Were there moments where we played really good defense? Yes, absolutely. … But I think we just have to have our discipline a little bit better. I’m cringing because we gave up 54 points when we are giving up an average of about 40. That’s more than I like to see.”

Going into this matchup with Lake Forest (3-2), the focus was to try and limit one of the best juniors in the state: Asa Thomas. The Titans’ defense limited Thomas — who has several offers from major Division 1 programs, including Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin — to 18 points. Ralston still believed his team could’ve done a better job. 

But there were some aspects about the victory that Ralston did like. 

“The one thing we did really well in this game was our transition was fantastic,” Ralston said. “When they didn’t score, our ability to get down the floor and really attack the rim put them in trouble.”

What also gave the Scouts trouble was the senior duo of Nick Martinelli and Cooper Noard. Martinelli finished with a game-high 25 points and Noard ended with 22 points. At the end of the first quarter, Noard scored 16 points and went 4-of-5 on three-pointers. 

“My teammates were feeding me and I was open and I was knocking them down,” Noard said. “I was just feeling the energy. That was it, and I caught fire.”

Outside of Noard making triples and Martinelli getting to the rim and finishing with his left hand, there were several other Titans, like senior Spencer Brown and junior Gavin Marr, who made key contributions throughout the game. 

“I thought in moments Spencer Brown was fantastic,” Ralston said. “His court awareness, seeing the floor and making the extra pass, things that won’t be in someone else’s stat book, he did very well tonight. … I thought Gavin had a lot of really good transition baskets. When he switched off and he (Marr) was on Asa, he did a fantastic job of knocking passes away.”

Brown finished the game with seven points and Marr added 10 points. For Lake Forest, senior Alex Forowycz finished with a team-high 21 points.

Ralston mentioned that members of this team have stepped up throughout the first five games of the season, and that will have to continue for Friday’s Central Suburban League South matchup against Evanston. 

“We got to make sure everyone is one the same game plan for Friday,” Noard said. “That is the next step.”

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