HOFFMAN ESTATES — Unfortunately for Glenbard West, history didn't repeat itself in the boys basketball regional semifinal against Glenbard East.
The Hilltoppers beat the Rams in the District 87 Tournament in November, but couldn't do it again in the playoffs. East ended West's season with a 72-55 win.
The Rams led by 19 in the third quarter before the Hilltoppers responded with a 13-0 run and cut the lead to four on two occasions in the fourth quarter.
“For one thing that was a lifetime ago," said West coach Tim Hoder of the first meeting. “Our kids kept battling. We just needed to defend a little better to start the game.”
East pulled away down the stretch when West senior starters Jeff Levesque and Dikiria Washington fouled out in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Levesque scored a team-high 16 points, but had to languish on the bench after fouling out with 5:02 left in the game.
Washington scored 13 points and fouled out less than a minute later. Sophomore Keith Hayes added 12 points.
Despite the early exits, the Hilltoppers showed a willingness to keep fighting despite falling into an early hole.
“We’ve had to play through a lot of things, but overall I think they’ve had a really good attitude.” Hoder said. “They worked hard. I really like this team, just these kids to be around every day. When you have kids like that, regardless of what their record is, you enjoy coming to practice every day. It’s been a really enjoyable group to work with.”
Levesque missed 15 games with a foot injury during the middle of the season. After the loss to East, he was able to reflect on what it meant to play for Glenbard West basketball.
“It really meant a lot to me now that I look at it,” Levesque said. “It really meant a lot to be out there, to play for my team and our fans. I really enjoyed it.”
The Hilltoppers finished the season 14-13. Seniors Sean Jenner, Nathan Marcus, Ben Kane and Kyle Bos also leave the program. The top two scorers, Hayes and junior guard Corey Davis, will be back next season.