Holiday tourney success gives Panthers hope heading into second half of season
|Glenbard North went 3-1 at the Elgin Holiday Tournament.|
Joe Larson sensed a light bulb went on in the minds of his players during the second half of Glenbard North’s Dec. 21 matchup against Naperville Central.
Seems the Panthers’ boys basketball coach might have been right.
Glenbard North would go on to lose that DuPage Valley Conference game prior to Christmas. But playing its best basketball of the early season, Glenbard North finished in fifth place at the Elgin holiday tournament last week after wrapping up the event with a 3-1 mark.
“The guys played really well in the tournament,” Larson said. “There were a lot of positives that we saw. Now we have to keep getting better and definitely keep improving.”
The Panthers picked up wins over Buffalo Grove, Rockford East and Dundee-Crown, the latter of which a 63-51 decision on Saturday behind 22 points from Chip Flanigan and 17 from Pasquale Fiduccia.
The team’s only blemish was a 74-67 defeat to eventual champion Larkin in the second round despite 25 points from Flanigan, 17 from Fiduccia and 10 from Justin Jackson.
Flanigan and Jackson were named to the all-tournament team.
“We are starting to gel as a team,” the coach said. “Guys are getting more comfortable with each other. I think the chemistry and guys getting used to having a basketball in their hands is back and that is good to see.
“The other positive is our defense is improving. Our ability to guard the ball and rebound is getting better with each game. That really helped us a lot.”
Glenbard North will look to keep the positive vibes flowing when it returns to DuPage Valley Conference play Saturday against Wheaton Warrenville South.
“They are always tough,” Larson said. “They play a zone which is a different style than you are used to seeing. We have to be ready and be prepared.”
The Panthers (5-6 overall) are looking to improve on their 1-3 league mark though that isn’t the primary focus currently.
“We are not so concerned about that,” Larson said. “We want to be playing better basketball and we are moving in that direction. And we lost to three pretty good (conference) teams.”
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