Glenbrook South’s swarming defense too much for Highland Park
From Glenbrook South’s starting five to the end of the bench, the Titans played relentless defense all game against visiting Highland Park.
When a lane potentially looked open, senior big man Justin Leszynski was there to close it. When Highland Park set a screen, senior small forward Matthew Rosenberger was there to tell his teammate to switch. When a pass went into the middle of the defense, junior forward Spencer Brown was there to tip it.
“I really try to compartmentalize our practices to work on things we are going to see in the games,” Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston said. “We probably don’t spend longer than 15-to-20 minutes working on our shell defense, but during that shell, we expect all of our kids to be engaged and how we expect them to defend.”
For Glenbrook South, how the players practice manifests itself in the games. The Titans defeated the Giants, 62-29, staying undefeated and improving to 8-0 on the season.
To compliment the Titans’ defense, Nick Martinelli added a team-high 21 points, scoring 10 of those points in the second quarter. Cooper Noard also had a 10-point quarter in the third, finishing with 15.
Noard started his night 0-for-4 from three-point range in the first half but made all three of his attempts in the third quarter.
Ralston wasn’t worried about his star point guard missing his shots in the first half.
“None of them are bad looks, they just didn’t fall,” Ralston said. “He’s such a good shooter. Once he hits one, he’s going to hit two, he’s going to hit three, he might hit four. You got to watch out.”
Highland Park, on the other hand, didn’t have a bounce-back performance at any point throughout the night in the Titan Dome. A majority of the Giants’ offense was spent passing the ball outside of the 3-point line from one side of the court to the other, searching for answers.
Billy Rudman led the Giants with 10 points, and Ben Shamberg scored six points.
The 62 points scored in tonight’s game was the fifth time this season the Titans have eclipsed the 60-point mark.
Glenbrook South has had plenty of success on that side of the ball, but Leszynski — who scored seven points — knows it all starts with the defense.
“I like to think that the other team can’t beat you if they can’t score more points than you,” Leszynski said. “I like to embrace doing whatever I’m needed to do on defense … A lot of our offense comes from defense. I know when we are playing well defensively we are one of the best teams in the state.”