The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Ball till we fall

Nick Taylor hangs on the rim after dunking around two DeKalb defenders. Photo courtesy of Reid Dickman.

The Titans’ varsity basketball team is on track for another productive season, tallying 15 wins in their first 18 games according to Maxpreps. Coached by Phil Ralston, the team is disciplined and persistent and has stayed competitive through their tough schedule. 

The team is led by senior captains Nick Taylor and Nate Kasher. Both captains play a crucial leadership role for the team, as well as being highly productive two-way players. 

Taylor, a 6’7” forward, is a strong physical player who can execute in transition as well as disrupt opposing teams offenses, according to senior forward Matt Barney. Taylor leads the team in points (19.6 per game), with stellar marks in field goal percentages (64 percent from 2 point range and 43 percent from 3). His ability to attack the rim with ease has helped open up shots around the perimeter for his teammates, Barney said. He also leads the team in steals (32), blocks (7) and rebounds per game (6.5). His slashing and offensive efficiency along with his defensive production has resulted in him becoming a star player for the Titans. Taylor is taking his talents to the collegiate level next year, verbally committed to Winona State. 

Kasher plays a fundamental role for the team. He is a very composed guard who is an excellent facilitator, according to Barney. Kasher averages 3 assists per game (team high), and is recognized as a pass-first guard, with his ability to quarterback the offense. Kasher plays with confidence and has a smooth jump shot which makes him a dual-threat offensively, according to Barney. He averages 9.2 points per game and also plays an essential role for the team defensively, recording 12 steals on the year and oftentimes assigned to guard the opposing team’s best scorer, a difficult feat. His leadership and experience has helped propel this team, according to Ralston. 

Ralston credits Taylor and Kasher for taking their leadership role on this team, adding that they were mentored in their previous varsity years (including the 21-22 season, which Ralston considers the greatest GBS basketball team ever), and are prepared to step into that role now. 

“They were mentored by other [former teammates] that understood the importance of having a positive culture,” Ralston explained. “They got to witness that and be a part of it. I think that through their maturation process where they are now the seniors, they had great people mentor them and taught them to be good leaders for the team and to uphold the standards that the program has had for the past six years.”

The team’s other two captains, junior Anestis Hadjistamoulou and senior JP Hubbard, have also played a crucial role for the team, according to Barney. 

Hadjistamoulou, is an all around point guard that can do it all. He handles the ball well, facilitates nicely, and is an exceptional scorer, according to Barney. He averages 13.3 points per game on 58/41/77 splits, a very impressive mark for the junior guard. He is physical when driving the rim and is a solid finisher, according to Barney. His quickness has also allowed him to steal the ball away from opponents 26 times this year. A pronounced start to the year for Hadjistamoulou statistically, to say the least. 

Hubbard is a sniper. He is a confident player, who has a nice range around the perimeter and sets himself up nicely for scoring opportunities. The sharpshooter’s 3 point percentage, (44.7), leads the team, and he provides a spark to the offense when in need of a big shot. 

Another key addition to this ball team is Hudson Fuller (Jr), who often comes off the bench. He is an excellent shooter and is a drive-and-kick guard. Averaging 6.3 points per game on 47% field goals, Fuller is a big part of the offense and joins the core of scoring guards that the team has put together. 

With the season already about halfway done, the team is attempting to finish their season strong and win their conference. Hubbard believes that the team’s defensive successes will result in wins going forward. 

“We firmly believe that if we control the defensive side of the game, and our turnovers, that we can win almost any ball game,” Hubbard said.

Barney also has high hopes for the team to execute in the back-half of the season and is impressed with the team’s effort and hard work. 

“I want us to keep working at the pace that we have been,” Barney said.” I really think that if we keep working hard, that we can make a really good run as a team. I am confident that we will finish the year strong and make a nice playoff run.”  

The Titans’ rematch against the Glenbrook North Spartans, which was scheduled for Friday, January 12, was postponed. The Spartans won the first outing- 60-52. Although it was a disappointing loss for the team, the rematch will be on South’s turf and the team is ready for the challenge. Ralston is excited to have another shot at GBN.

“Outside of four possessions [the first game], it was dead even,” Ralston said. “We have to make sure we don’t make those mistakes again. We know that it’s gonna be a tight game at our place, but I believe we are a better team than we were a month ago. I know that we are prepared for [that] night.”

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