Glenbard West hoopsters return with no starters from championship season
How does a basketball team follow up the best season in program history?
This season's Glenbard West Hilltoppers are in the process of finding out.
Last season, the Hilltoppers posted a sterling 25-4 record and claimed the West Suburban Conference Silver Division title and a region championship. However, all five starters from that squad have moved on. The losses include three all-conference selections in Connor O'Shea, Alex Passi and Justin Pierce, according to wsc.8to18.com.
However, head coach Tim Hoder told the DuPage Policy Journal that they are optimistic with the returning crew as they dive into the arena that is playing in the West Suburban Conference.
“I expect us to compete hard in a very tough conference and am looking forward to the development of some young players and giving an opportunity to some seniors who did not get much playing time last year,” Hoder said.
The Hilltoppers got off to a 2-0 start this season with wins over Glenbard South and Glenbard East.
The seniors on this year's team are Kevin Nelson, Connor Mullins, Logan Morrison, Mark Mattson, Kolin Kennebeck, Nick Ebl, Chris Langan, Alex Pihlstrom and Ethan Larson.
Nine Glenbard North seniors and a junior are back from last season's basketball team.
This year's squad got off to a good start, with a 71-50 win over Glenbard East on Nov. 21 at home. Junior Greg Newsome led the way for the Panthers, with 23 points; seniors Myles Moore and Chamar Flanigan each added 11 points; and senior Kibet Chepyator notched eight points.
“We look to work together as a team every day and improve always,” head coach Joe Larson told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Our length and athleticism should help us both defensively and offensively.”
Other seniors on the team include Wendell Pamfilo, Aquil Spates, D'erick Sawyer, Aaron Hausner, Marvelle Coleman and Adam Jaszka.
The Raiders are coming off a 20-10 season that included a regional championship.
The lone returning starter is Charlie Bair, who averaged 10.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season. Bair also shot 50 percent from the field.
“We have some athletic seniors that will step into playing time this year and some younger players we will be bringing along that will gain a lot of experience,” head coach Wade Hartke told the DuPage Policy Journal.
Other seniors on this year's team include Ethan Sowl, Luke Angelillo, Billy Powers, Peter Jeske, Adam Puchalski and Dylan Barnick.
In the 2015-16 season, the Raiders outscored their opponents 59-56.1 on average and held a rebounding advantage of 30.2 to 21. In terms of overall shooting percentage, opponents had a 42.3-41.6 advantage, made 59 more 3-pointers (173-94) and out-shot the Raiders 37-29.9 from behind the arc.
Note: Not all schools responded to requests for information from the DuPage Policy Journal by press time.
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