What could easily have been a disheartening start to the season, turned out to be a great opening night win for Glenbrook North.
The Spartans managed to shake off a buzzer beating, game tying three pointer to beat Niles West in overtime by a score of 67-64.
It took a while for both teams to find their offensive rhythm. Niles West’s zone press kept the GBN offense at bay, while Niles West had a number of turnovers, limiting their offensive production.
The second quarter was much of the same for both teams. Niles West found some success going to the basket early, but followed it up with blocks by GBN on three straight possessions.
That defense turned into offense for the Spartans, closing out the half with ten points in the final two minutes to go into the break up 25-22.
Just like the start of the game, both teams came out cold to start the second half. It took over three minutes for Niles West to score the first points of the half, eventually tying the game up at 26.
From midway through the third quarter, GBN started to catch fire from deep. Brian Johnson scored nine of his 15 points during this frame off of three straight three pointers to give GBN a 43-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
GBN would extend their lead to 11 points early in the fourth quarter, before a culmination of fouls started to affect the Spartans.
Both Evan Barnes and Max Knebelkamp fouled out in the fourth quarter, leading to a 14-0 run for Niles West, taking the lead on a Emil Comor three pointer.
Despite missing two key players, GBN bounced back and would regain the lead thanks to some key second chance point opportunities.
With just 9.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Niles West found themselves with the ball down 58-55. The Wolves took their time coming up the floor, and found a wide open Kevin Guillaume for the buzzer beating 3 to send the game into overtime.
Niles West carried that momentum into overtime, taking an early lead, but GBN would rally behind Kellen Witherell who scored eight of his teams nine points in overtime, including a dagger three to seal the 67-64 win.
The GBN tournament continues on Tuesday night as GBN will face off against Hersey, while Niles West draws Hoffman Estates.