High school basketball: Glenbard West completes the dominant run for the York Championship

Cade Pierce was a crucial part of Glenbard West’s 60-28 victory over Lyons in the championship match of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic on Friday in York.

The senior had six points, eight assists and four rebounds. But his team’s victory in the holiday tournament was not very high on the Pierce family’s calendar.

“No one from my family is here,” Pierce said. “They all keep an eye on my brother. I stay with [teammate Braden Huff’s family]. It is clear that they have other priorities. “

Pierce’s older brother Alec is Cincinnati’s best recipient. And the York title fight overlapped with the Bearcats’ College Football Playoff game against Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.

“I have it recorded and I have told everyone not to mention a score,” Pierce said.

Hilltoppers dominated the field at York’s 32-team tournament in Alabama fashion. They beat Rolling Meadows 58-40 in the semifinals, Leo 69-46 in the quarterfinals and St. Patrick 67-40 in the second round after a farewell in the first round.

Lyons (11-3) came in on a winning streak of eight games. But the Lions obviously just do not match well with the long Hilltoppers. Glenbard West beat Lyons 71-34 on December 3rd.

“It’s just defensive that our length gives a lot of team problems,” Pierce said. “I do not think it is Lyons alone. We have gotten better and better on our matchups and rotations in the 1-3-1 defense. Our best has not come yet.”

Huff, a Gonzaga recruit, led Hilltopppers (14-0) by 21 points. Paxton Warden scored 12 and Bobby Durkin added 11.

Glenbard West basketball players react after winning the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic Tournament Championship match in 2021 against Lyons.

Glenbard West basketball players react after winning the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic Tournament Championship match in 2021 against Lyons.
Kirsten Stickney / For the Sun-Times

“We played some pretty tough teams in the tournament,” said Glenbard West senior Ryan Renfro. “We were excited to play Bolingbrook. It would have been a good match. But that’s what it is. We learn every single game”

Lyons knocked Bolingbrook out in the semifinals. Senior guard Tavari Johnson, an Akron recruit, scored 28 against the Raiders. Glenbard West limited him to just two points. Niklas Polonowski led the Lions with 11.

“We really disturbed their passing angles, especially early on,” Hilltoppers coach Jason Opoka said. “They turned it around and we spent money. [Durkin] hit three big threes to get us started. It gave us confidence and we never looked back. “

Glenbard West has some interesting games on the way on the program. Hilltoppers hosts Larkin, who won the Jacobs tournament, on January 12th. They are to meet Young in a shootout at Benet on January 22nd.

Opoka said he is close to ending a monster matchup with Kenwood. The Broncos knocked Young out in the title fight of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament on Thursday. Kenwood and Glenbard West are generally considered the top two teams in the state.

The contracts have not been signed yet, but the match would take place on February 5 at Wintrust Arena. It’s part of a doubleheader with Simeon vs. Sierra Canyon, CA. California’s team is one of the best in the country. It’s run by LeBron James’ son Bronny and Chicago native Amari Bailey.

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