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Boys basketball preview: Hit hard by graduation, Rams look to rebound

LOMBARD – The contrast from a year ago is sharp at Glenbard East, but the talent is still there.

The Rams lost four starters from last year’s conference and regional champion squad. Three players from that group are playing in college: Marvin Grant-Clark (Maryville), Tahron Harvey (Benedictine) and Mike Kjeldsen (Carthage).

Currently in place for the Rams are a younger group of players that have good upside, but may struggle to get consistent play and wins early in the season.

Senior guard Jaron Hall is the only starter and major contributor back from a year ago. Hall has great speed and can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. He scored 29 points in the Rams’ 67-61 loss to Glenbard West on Tuesday.

“He had a big year last year for us and he’s much better as a playmaker, as a scorer, as a leader,” Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said. “He’s got to continue to be that on the floor.”

Spencer Trefilek is the only other senior returner joining Hall in the starting lineup. Senior 6-foot-7 newcomer Darryl Jones also started in early games. Senior Tyler Behrendt is another returner in the rotation, which runs 10 deep so far.

The excitement in the program is around the young talent on the team, namely freshman Michael Finley. Finley is the first freshman Miller has had on the varsity team from the start of the season. The 6-foot-2 guard is starting and scored 14 against Glenbard West.

“He’s going to be a special player for us,” Miller said. “He’s a big, strong kid.”

Sophomore guard Jack Grigat is also starting with 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Patrick Peterkin and sophomore guard Terrance Lakes coming off the bench for now.

“I think our young guys are coming along just fine,” Miller said. “They play hard. They’re listening. We got a long way to go.

“As long as they keep listening and they don’t bring their head down, we’re going to grow. This team, the sky is the limit. We don’t want to be playing our best now. We want to just keep getting better. We’re definitely going to improve.”

In addition to their loss to Glenbard West, the Rams fell to Glenbard North 62-46 on Monday. East finished 1-2 at the tournament after beating Glenbard South 57-44 on Wednesday.

Glenbard East Rams

Coach: Scott Miller

Conference: DuPage Valley

2012-13 record: 20-7 (13-1 DVC)

Next game: 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Glenbard East/Hinsdale Central crossover tournament

Top returners:

Tyler Behrendt sr. F

Jaron Hall sr. G

Spencer Trefilek sr. F

Promising newcomers:

Michael Finley fr. G

Jack Grigat so. G

Darryl Jones sr. C

Patrick Peterkin so. F

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