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Boys Basketball: Glenbard East going through 'midseason slump'

Rams lost to East Aurora in 2OT, drop shootout game to Downers Grove North

LOMBARD – To Korvante Davis, it's clear what Glenbard East is going through.

"It's a midseason slump," said Davis, the Rams' 6-foot-1 senior forward. "Not much else to say about it. I think we'll bounce back."

It has indeed been a tough stretch for Glenbard East lately.

The Rams (12-7) started their season promising, 5-2 over their first seven games. But they've now dropped six of their last seven. A 55-52 double overtime loss to East Aurora Jan. 19 was followed the next day by a 67-45 loss to Downers Grove North at the When Sides Collide Shootout at Glenbard East.

"We're just kind of going through a slump right now," Davis said. "We're trying to figure out our roles, guys don't know their roles, and it's showing. There's come confusion on the court."

Glenbard East, when it's right, has the pieces to make a good team.

James Peterkin is a hard-nosed 6-foot-4 senior forward. He had 11 points and seven rebounds against Downers Grove North. His strong play got the Rams out to a 12-11 lead after a quarter. Peterkin had 27 in a game Jan. 16 against Downers Grove South.

Davis, a rangy and athletic forward, scored 24 in Glenbard East's 75-63 win over West Chicago on Jan. 11. And the Rams have the makeup of a nice guard tandem with senior Kenny Adams and sophomore Alijah Nelson, who has an offer from Chicago State.

Adams scored 27 in the loss to Downers Grove North, Nelson 10 against Downers Grove North.

"Our guys are giving us everything they got," Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said. "We've had some tough losses. We just got to keep fighting."

The Rams have indeed had their share of close calls the other way.

Glenbard East lost in double overtime to East Aurora, by three points to Downers Grove South and in overtime to Bartlett Jan. 5. Before that was an overtime loss to Metea Valley Dec. 26.

"You're a free throw here, a layup there, that's what we are selling them, just to keep getting better," Miller said. "We need to do things to put ourselves in better position at the end of games."

The Rams started promising against Downers Grove North.

They led 12-11 after a quarter, and only trailed 34-27. But Glenbard East's defense, whether 2-3 zone or man, was hit by a torrent of 3-pointers. Downers Grove North's Connor Ilyavi hit seven 3-pointers alone, and Semaj Henderson hit two in the third quarter.

It's a fixable problem, according to Davis.

"We just have to get back on defense," Davis said. "When we score we got to get back. No showboating, no holding up three fingers [to celebrate shots]. Just get back and play good defense. We let [Ilyavi] get too comfortable. Guy gets hot, we have to contest."

Miller admitted that his kids might have lost their legs a little after a double overtime game the night before, but Davis wasn't accepting any excuses.

"I guess you could say fatigue was a factor, but I don't want to make up excuses," Davis said. "We just have to get better at performing."

The road doesn't get any easier.

Glenbard East plays at West Aurora Jan. 26.

"We have a tough road trip coming up," Davis said, "but I think we'll bounce back."

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