On Friday night inside the Titan Dome against Niles West, Glenbrook South juniors Cooper Noard and Nick Martinelli proved why they are some of the most prolific scorers in the state.
Noard and Martinelli both finished with 23 points in a convincing 60-41 victory over the Wolves, improving the Titans record to (13-1, 5-1).
“They’re really hard to stop together, especially when both of them are clicking,” Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston said. “If one guy is going off and you try to take him away, the next thing you know the other guy is wide open, so it creates some problems.”
Noard scored the first points of the game with a three in front of the small student section. He went 4-of-5 from distance and added a 7-foot jump shot in the first. In the third quarter, the 6-foot-2 point guard made both of his 3-pointers.
“They (Niles West) came out in a zone, and my teammates were finding me and I was getting open shots,” Noard said. “I was able to knock them down. My teammates trust me. They give me shots when I was open and I was able to take advantage.”
When Noard is converting on his shots, he has “the green light” to keep on shooting. But even if he does miss, Noard knows that Martinelli will be in position to give the team an opportunity to get some second-chance points.
Out of Martinelli’s 23 points, only three came from long range. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard did a majority of his scoring inside. His 10 points in the third quarter gave Glenbrook South a 55-33 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“I think we have probably the best offense in the state when me and Nick are both on our games,” Noard said.
He also added that with the help of the seniors on the roster it only makes Martinelli’s and his game “even better.”
One of the seniors is Justin Leszynski, who finished third on the team in scoring with 8 points. He also had a blocked shot with 1:57 remaining in the second quarter that ricocheted off the backboard and led to a transition layup from Martinelli.
For Niles West, junior guard Moses Leblanc finished with a team-high 18 points.
Going into the game, Niles West coach Mike Wasielewski knew it would be a challenge trying to contain all of the playmakers that the Titans have on their roster.
“I think I saw fight the whole game,” Wasielewski said. “With the talent they have, they could have blown us out by 20 in the first half and they didn’t. Our guys fought. Again, we don’t have some of the same fire power that they have. I’m happy we competed and hoping some of the younger guys can develop.”