2012 News

Plenty at stake in race for Silver crown

George M. Wilcox gwilcox@pioneerlocal.com
January 14, 2012

There is a White Out for fans at Hinsdale Central Friday night and Pack the Place at Glenbard West Saturday night, but either way it’s a big weekend for West Suburban Silver basketball.

Three of the conference’s top teams will play against each other and even Lyons Township has become a factor after losing seven consecutive games earlier this season.

Most of the focus is on Glenbard West. It has been a long time since Glenbard West has played back-to-back games with this much on the line in the conference.

The Hilltoppers, which won their first 10 games to start the season, will travel to Oak Park-River Forest Friday night to decide sole possession of first place in the conference. On Saturday, Glenbard West hosts a Pack-the-Place doubleheader with the girls team and plays conference contender Hinsdale Central. Both boys games begin at 7:30 p.m.

“Obviously this is a very big weekend for us,” Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder said. “We’re playing two very good teams. It’s really important for our kids to compete in our league. We’re looking forward to it. Obviously, we’ve been working hard to get ready for it.”

Both OPRF (10-4, 4-1) and Glenbard West (11-2, 3-1) boast plenty of size on the court. The two teams would meet again Feb. 17 in Glen Ellyn. The Huskies have 6-foot-7 Gabe Levin, 6-8 Thomas Ross and 6-7 Tacourrus Mattox though it rare to have all three on the court at the same time. But Glenbard West’s big three of 6-6 twins Michael and Matthew Mache and 6-8 Pat Mazza all start.

“Oak Park has the level of talent and size that is not like any team we’ve seen this season,” Hoder said.

The Hilltoppers’ winning streak ended with back-to-back losses after West won its own holiday tournament. Glenbard West lost to Bolingbrook 67-61 in overtime Jan. 4 and York 54-44 on Jan. 6.

“We did not let down. We did some things poorly down the stretch at Bolingbrook and at York,” Hoder said.

The showdown between OPRF and Glenbard West was set up by Lyons Township’s 65-53 win over the Huskies Jan. 13 to hand OPRF its first conference loss.

“(The conference race) is going to be like that,” OPRF coach Matt Maloney said. “There are the three teams and now York is better and Lyons is getting back into it.”

The Huskies are playing only one conference game this weekend and is the bye team on Saturday. OPRF hosts Morton on Tuesday.

Hinsdale Central (9-5, 2-2) also plays a pair of tough opponents, starting the weekend with a home game against LT (6-9, 2-2), which has won four in a row. The Red Devils dropped behind OPRF in the conference standings with a 74-68 loss at Proviso West (7-7, 3-2) Friday after opening the game with a 20-0 run.

“Both (Lyons and Glenbard West) are quality basketball clubs. They are well-coached and loaded with talent,” said Red Devils coach Nick Latorre. “Lyons Township likes to run up and down the court. Glenbard West wants to play fast, but also with a different style with all that size.”

The Red Devils scored the first 20 points against Proviso West Friday night and lost. Sometimes the best part of playing Friday night is another game on Saturday.

Alec Hutcherson scored a career-high 19 points and Tom Garvin added 13 as Hinsdale Central defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 51-41 at the Downers Grove North Winter Classic. Danny Roadman scored a game-high 21 points, including four three-pointers, for the Tigers (5-11), but the team’s next leading scorer was sophomore Matt Kienzle with eight.

Hinsdale Central entered the game with losses in two of its last three games, but pulled away by outscoring the Tigers 25-16 in the fourth quarter.

Hutcherson, a junior guard, scored eight points in each half.

“I was seeing the rim well. Actually, I had good arcs on my shots. They were playing zone,” Hutcherson said. “There was motivation after our loss too. We were up 10-0 in the first quarter (against Proviso West), but the pressure got to us.”

It was the lowest-scoring win of the season for the Red Devils. Hinsdale Central defeated Sandburg 55-49 Nov. 26 to end the Hinsdale South Thanksgiving tournament.

In Friday’s loss to Proviso West, Hinsdale Central looked as if it was going to win the game in a laugher.

Proviso West missed its first 10 shots from the field and didn’t score until Anthony Arceneaux’s layup with five seconds left in the opening quarter made it 20-2.

Hinsdale Central, meanwhile, connected on 7-of-12 shots, including three-pointers by Brian Owens and Brad Anlauf.

© 2011 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


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