MORRIS – For the last two seasons, Bolingbrook's boys basketball team has entered the Morris Boys Shootout with a target on its backs, being hailed as one of the tourney favorites.
The Raiders did not win either one of those tournaments, so entering this summer's event with not nearly as much fanfare sits just fine with Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost.
"The last two years, we were one of the big dogs coming in here," Brost said. "We didn't win either year. This year, we are coming in a bit under the radar, and that's something I like."
It's not like the Raiders are totally lacking in talent, judging by the results they turned in. They opened with a 58-21 win over Coal City, then beat Galesburg, 52-49, before dumping Ottawa, 59-45. And this was without their starting center.
"We didn't have Julian Torres, our 6-foot-9 center," Brost said. "He's playing with the Puerto Rican Junior National Team this summer. He's been gone all summer, so we have had to get used to him not being here. You don't just find 6-9 kids walking around to fill in for a guy like that."
What the Raiders do have is a backcourt that is the envy of most. Between Prentiss Nixon, a Colorado State recruit, and Broderic Thomas, Bolingbrook can match up with just about anyone.
"What was good about [Wednesday] is that Prentiss was hurt the first week or so of summer and Broderic has been hurt up until now," Brost said. "This is the first time they have been totally healthy together, and they are a very good 1-2 combo.
"We also have Devon Sams, who has been playing very well this summer, as well as Zach Grady on the post. Also, Demitri Akenten has done a real good job on the glass for us."
Bolingbrook begins championship bracket play at Thursday at noon, taking on either Plainfield Central or Springfield.
"We know we didn't shoot the ball very well [Wednesday]," Brost said. "But we did share it well, and that way we were able to get some easy buckets. We are going to have to be ready [Thursday]. There are only No. 1 and 2 pool seeds in the bracket, so every game is going to be a tough one."