Titans want to ‘get tougher’
Waukegan's Quintin Davis (left) and Glenbrook South's Ose Ilenikhena scramble for a loose ball during Friday's game in Glenview. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:31PM
GLENVIEW — Glenbrook South had two inches on Waukegan on Friday night.
It didn’t seem like it, however, as the Bulldogs dominated the offensive glass and scooped up more than their share of 50-50 balls to earn a victory over the Titans.
With a physical 6-foot-6 junior center in Conor McCarthy and a strong 6-4 senior forward in Justin Busiel, Glenbrook South isn’t used to getting beaten on the glass. And on Friday night, when the heights of each team’s starters were added up, Glenbrook South actually came out two inches ahead of Waukegan. But the Titans finished many loose balls behind.
“The biggest killer was definitely the offensive rebounds for them,” McCarthy said. “They had plenty and they were just able to convert baskets and get fouls and those are definitely momentum killers for us.
“It’s been kind of sporadic. It has not been one of our greatest assets as a team, but it hasn’t killed us like it did.”
Glenbrook South coach Ben Widner reached the same conclusion, noting that his team has performed far better in the past.
“There have only been a couple of days where we have been outrebounded like that, that it’s been a huge discrepancy, and today was obviously a huge discrepancy,” Widner said, “but you know what, we’ve also boxed out better. We haven’t played teams as athletic as Waukegan every week, but we’ve also boxed out better against other teams and we’ve wanted it more.”
Second-chance points were front and center in Waukegan’s victory over Glenbrook South on Friday night.
In a third quarter in which the Bulldogs outscored the Titans 19-6, Waukegan didn’t always make its initial shot, but it got many second and third opportunities.
First, there was Bulldogs senior forward Devonte Taylor pulling down an offensive rebound and gracefully extending his right arm to flick the basketball into the hoop to tie the score at 31. Then, there was Waukegan junior forward Jerome Davis easily picking up a misfired 3-pointer and putting it back in the basket.
Then, there was a defensive rebound by Glenbrook South, which Waukegan swiped away, allowing senior guard Quintin Davis to attempt a close-in floater. He missed, but again Waukegan was able to tip it out.
The Bulldogs’ run turned a 31-27 halftime deficit into a 39-33 lead, and Titans senior guard Max Cohen had seen enough.
“They continued to get a bunch of offensive boards,” Cohen said. “They just had the momentum the whole half. They did whatever they wanted to. We couldn’t even give them a speed bump. They were doing whatever they wanted to. We couldn’t get the momentum back.”
As a result, the Titans were forced back to the drawing board, a little startled and a little stunned by how thoroughly they were outrebounded on their own home court. Cohen said that Widner highlighted an effort gap in his postgame remarks.
“Like he just said in there, they just came out, they wanted it more than us,” Cohen said. “They played a lot tougher in the second half. (Widner) said that we ended up being down by 17 at one point. That’s just unacceptable.”
Widner said that his team also had to come up with more loose balls in order to win.
“We have to learn from it,” Widner said. “Part of the message was we want it but it’s got to happen on the floor, too. You can’t just say you want to rebound or box out or get a loose ball. Between us and one of their guys, we have to win those individual battles for loose balls and they won them tonight.”
Was Glenbrook South’s performance on the glass against Waukegan an isolated affair? Only time will tell, but McCarthy echoed Widner when he said that the Titans will have to toughen up in order to compete in the Central Suburban League.
“Next game, we got to get tougher,” McCarthy said. “We weren’t tough enough tonight, and they were definitely tougher than us. It seemed like they wanted it more than us. We’ll use this as a learning experience to come out next game and hopefully get a win.”