GLEN ELLYN – Glenbard West boys basketball coach Tim Hoder is extremely pleased with the effort that he has received through six games from his young basketball team.
Now it's just a matter of turning that hard work into wins.
In their West Suburban Silver opener on Friday, the Hilltoppers hung tough with a talented Lyons Township squad before falling 69-56. Glenbard West had the game tied at 43-43 entering the fourth quarter before the Lions pulled away.
"I'm not disappointed in the effort," Hoder said. "Obviously we want to pull some of these through. But some of that is strength and experience. We have to keep getting stronger. And it's just an experience thing. The more close games we are in, the better we will be in those situations."
Justin Pierce scored 17 points to pace the squad while Kalen Starkey added 16.
"Justin is shooting with a lot of confidence," the coach said. "He hit four 3-pointers. He has a scorer's mentality."
Hoder also praised Starkey's defense, along with that of Aidan Gould, in a 67-48 win over Hinsdale South on Dec. 4.
"They both did a great job against the Hinsdale South big man [6-foot-8 Barret Benson]," he said. "He had 16 points, but it was a quiet 16."
The Hilltoppers were led by the 18 points of Pierce in the victory over the Hornets while Will Reedy knocked down a trio of 3-pointers.
"That was a really good win," Hoder said. "First of all, we shot well, and that gave us an opportunity to be in the game. And we were also able to set our defense because we were making shots."
After taking on Bolingbrook on Tuesday, Glenbard West was scheduled to have nine days off before returning to the court against York.
"The thing about the layoff," Hoder said, "we have to continue to have good, hard practices where we are getting better all the time. A lot will be focused on preparing for York, but after that is our Christmas tournament where we will have four games in six days."
Who: Glenbard West at York
What: West Suburban Silver conference game
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 vs. York
Where: 355 W. St. Charles Road, Elmhurst