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Glenbard South boys having fun with turnaround

After some early struggles, Raiders use strong holiday tourney run to get on track

GLEN ELLYN – On several occasions during the Romeoville Christmas Classic, onlookers approached Wade Hardtke to comment on how fun his Glenbard South boys basketball team was to watch.

And at this point, the Raiders head coach can’t disagree.

While hoping his team hasn’t yet reached peak level, Hardtke does admit his Raiders are playing very good basketball heading into 2014.

“It is certainly fun to see,” Hardtke said. “Defensively, we are getting scrappy, and offensively, I think we are doing a good job of sharing the basketball. And some of the other guys [aside from leading scorers Chaun Rickette and Alex Jeske] are stepping up as well.”

Most recently, Glenbard South finished third at Romeoville, posting a record of 3-1. The Raiders beat Lemont, Chicago Christian and Shepard while falling in the semifinals to Oak Forest.

Rickette was selected to the all-tournament team after posting scoring outputs of 33 and 30 points in two of the games.

“[Chaun] has been scoring,” Hardtke said, “and Jeske could have been very easily on the all-tournament team. On the offensive end and the defensive end, he has been rock solid for us.”

Having won five of their last six games, the squad is now 6-5 on the season.

“We have certainly played some tough teams,” the coach said. “We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and we’ve grown a lot these last three weeks. We are playing good basketball right now and that’s the main thing.

“The kids are really starting to get it and they are buying into what we are trying to do. And they are really having some fun with it.”

After having Tuesday’s scheduled game against Downers Grove North postponed because of the weather, Glenbard South returns to the court Friday for an important Metro Suburban Conference road game with league leader Riverside Brookfield.

“They are well-balanced,” the coach said. “They’ve got good guard play and they are big; they can score inside and out. We want to be able to control the tempo. We are an uptempo team. If we are able to get the game going at that uptempo style, that will play to our advantage.”

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