There were multiple possessions where Glenbrook South players didn’t let the ball hit the ground more than once or twice on the way to scoring Thursday in Winnetka.
There was no need for dribbling with all five Titans perfectly executing the offense: quick passing with three or four players moving it along to the next and then a bucket. It was as beautiful as basketball gets.
It almost felt as if No. 7 New Trier didn’t even have a chance. The No. 5 Titans dominated in a 73-53 win.
“That’s easily the best game we’ve played so far this season and probably in my high school career,” Glenbrook South senior Cooper Noard said. “We kind of just caught fire. We found open guys and were incredibly unselfish. And everyone was making shots. It was fun.”
The Titans’ starters were 13-for-22 from three-point range before they were pulled with two minutes remaining.
Noard, one of the state’s best shooters, was 4-for-6 from three and finished with 12 points. His court vision and willingness to pass up some open shots despite being so hot was possibly the key reason Glenbrook South’s offense was so pretty.
“It helps when you have kids that have played in the system for four years,” Titans coach Phil Ralston said. “It’s all about cutting and screening and passing.”
Ralson, when pressed, eventually admitted it was a special performance. No coach wants his team to peak in early December.
“My Geneva team in 2015 was pretty darn good at it,” Ralston said. “But this is certainly one of the best groups I’ve ever coached. They’re fantastic.”
Nick Martinelli, who did an excellent job guarding Glenbard West’s 6-11 Braden Huff on Sunday, turned in another impressive defensive effort on Jackson Munro, New Trier’s 6-8 center.
The Titans (7-1, 2-0 CSL South) were nearly as effective defensively as offensively. They held New Trier (7-1, 1-1) to just one field goal for a six-minute stretch in the first half.
“We all have such camaraderie and we play for each other,” Martinelli said. “We’ve been playing together forever and we are all best friends. That obviously comes into play on the court. We’re always making the extra pass and finding the open guy. It’s something special for sure.”
Martinelli scored 25 points and juniors RJ Davis and Gaven Marr each scored 12. The Titans only had six turnovers in the game. And they’re doing all this while just playing six guys.
“RJ is such a good team player and I was so happy to see what he did,” Martinelli said. “I’m really proud of him.”
Jake Fiegen led New Trier with 18 points and Noah Shannon scored 12. Munro finished with six points.
David Brenner, a longtime assistant coach, filled in for New Trier coach Scott Fricke, who is out with an illness.
“We’re a better team than we showed tonight,” Brenner said. “We just couldn’t get over the hump and we didn’t shoot it well. Their defense probably had something to do with it.
“It’s a little bit back to the drawing board but we have great kids and we’re going to be fine.”