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Panther hoops looks to build on successful summer

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:46 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2013 3:29 p.m. CDT
Glenbard North's Justin Jackson contorts his body in mid-air during a game last winter at Glenbard East. Matthew Piechalak— mpiechalak@shawmedia.com.

CAROL STREAM – If this summer is any indication, the Glenbard North boys basketball team is on the cusp of a breakout season in the DuPage Valley Conference.

Entered in five tournaments during June and early July, the Panthers walked away with three first-place finishes and a runner-up showing.

“The guys really played well,” said Glenbard North coach Joe Larson. “I am definitely really happy with how the guys did this summer and we are very excited going into next year.”

Glenbard North won a pair of Addison Trail shootouts which featured eight teams apiece. The squad also came in first at the 16-team Palatine tournament and second at the 32-team Plainfield East shootout. Additionally, the Panthers posted a record of 4-1 at the Glenbard East event.

“Our four starters (Chip Flanigan, Justin Jackson, Kendall Holbert and Pasquale Fiduccia) who are coming back led us all summer,” the coach said. “They played really, really well.

“Then some other guys stepped up for us like seniors Robert Collier and Jeremiah Fleming.”

The Panthers were spurred on by their aggressive defense.

“Our quickness defensively in the halfcourt was big,” Larson said. “We were getting into the passing lanes and causing some turnovers. That definitely is one of our strengths. And I thought we shot the ball well this summer. I’m looking forward to being a better shooting team this year.”

Larson said the group is a very unselfish one.

“They are hard workers and very fun to coach,” he said. “It makes coaching a lot more enjoyable when they want to play hard and be unselfish.”

Now an important offseason beckons for the Panthers as they attempt to continue the momentum of the past six weeks.

“They’ve got to do a lot of work on their own,” Larson added. “We will do some open gyms and conditioning stuff when school starts but they need to work on their game and keep improving their game and also get as strong as they can.”

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