Inspired effort against top seed builds Raiders' confidence
GLEN ELLYN — Searching for a complete 32-minute effort all season, Wade Hardtke finally received that from his Glenbard South boys basketball team in its playoff matchup with Orr.
And though the Raiders ultimately dropped a 57-42 decision Feb. 27 to the top seed in the Class 3A Nazareth sectional, the team has something to build on going into next season.
"We certainly played if not our best basketball, one of our best games against Orr," Hardtke said. "I thought our kids played hard and played well. There is certainly a lot to build on there. A lot of these guys are coming back next year and that's a plus. Now they have to have a good summer of work and be ready to go for next season."
Consistency was a problem for the squad throughout the campaign.
"That was probably our biggest thing," the coach said. "I certainly think we played at a different level against Orr. That was the level we were trying to get at all season long.
"Against Orr, we were pretty balanced scoring and when we were balanced this year, we were usually successful. And I thought we shot with the most confidence that we have ever shot with. More than anything, we shot the ball in rhythm a lot and that helped us knock down some shots."
The defensive end was also an issue at times.
"That was some of our inconsistency," Hardtke said, "how we would fade in and out defensively. We needed to keep the game in the 50s to be successful. I think we were 1-10 or something like that in games we gave up 60 or more and the one win was a double-overtime victory against Ridgewood."
The Raiders lose just four seniors to graduation in Tim Marshall, Jarius Shannon, Alvi Shuke and Mike Atkinson. Glenbard South will return a lot of firepower next winter, including top scorers Chaun Rickette and Alex Jeske.
"They are established as ball-handlers and scorers," Hardtke said. "Those are certainly two big areas you'd like to have answered each season."
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