BOLINGBROOK – For much of 2014, Bolingbrook’s boys basketball team has been road warriors.
The Raiders have played just two home games since the new year began, with the third being this tonight’s game against SouthWest Suburban Blue conference rival Homewood-Flossmoor. In fact, tonight’s game will be just the third home game since mid-December for Bolingbrook.
The home confines may be slightly unfamiliar, but it sure beats playing on the road, especially in a rivalry game.
“It’s always great to be at home,” Bolingbrook head coach Rob Brost said. “Obviously, when it’s the top two teams in the conference playing, it’s nice to be at home.”
Bolingbrook enters the game with a 10-1 SWSB mark. H-F is 8-3 in conference and will be looking to extract some revenge after the Raiders won on the Vikings’ floor Jan. 17.
“It’s a big rivalry game for us,” Brost said. “When we went there, their place was full, and we expect the same thing at our place this week.”
Brost also will expect a better effort than the one the Raiders put forth last Friday against Lincoln-Way East. Prentiss Nixon scored a game-high 20 points, and Josh Dillingham and Shakur Triplett added 11 points apiece, but from a coach’s perspective, the 60-45 win was a sloppy one.
“We beat Lincoln-Way East, but we did not shoot very well from the free-throw line,” Brost said. “We have to improve there, and we have to be more consistent with the little things and have more sense of urgency.”
Against the Griffins, Bolingbrook made free throws when it counted, going 20-of-25 from the stripe starting late in the third quarter and extending through the fourth. Prior to that, the Raiders were 4-of-20 on free throws. One thing that could be in the Raiders’ favor against H-F is their depth. In addition to a regular rotation that includes Nixon, Dillingham, Triplett, Gage Davis, Kenny Williams, Julia Torres, C.J. Redmond and Devon Sams, junior Brodric Thomas has stepped up his play recently.
“He’s been playing very well lately,” Brost said. “He was our leading scorer against Stagg [on Feb.11], and he did it coming off the bench.
“Josh Dillingham has double-doubles in four of our last five games, so different guys are stepping up, and when you sit where I sit, that’s a good thing to see.”