Plenty of Time for Maine W. Warriors Dismiss Glenbrook N.; St. Viator Falls at Gordon Tech
Maciaszek, Marty, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Marty Maciaszek Daily Herald Sports Writer
Maine West did not leave a narrow margin for error Friday night.
Instead, all that was left for the Warriors was savoring the clock winding down in the final minutes to the inevitable.
There was no doubt this time with Glenbrook North. After a 2-game split decided by a total of 3 points, Maine West rocked its house and rolled to a regional title and its own sectional semifinals with a 56-38 victory.
"It's undescribable," said Maine West senior guard Brian Regan, who then did find the words. "It's a great feeling.
"We've worked all of our lives and I've played with Luke (Johnson) since I was little. It's a great feeling, especially against Glenbrook North. They've been our rivals ever since I was little."
And the sixth regional title for top-seeded Maine West (24-3) and first since 1994 ended a six-year run of making the sectional for No. 8 Glenbrook North (14-13).
The Warriors meet Evanston (20-6), a 66-51 winner over Notre Dame, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"I've been watching Maine West basketball since I was a kid and we just couldn't beat Glenbrook North," said Maine West junior Bart Fabian, who had 13 points and 6 rebounds. "It's nice to finally come out and beat Glenbrook North."
Senior transfer Kevin Frey (16 points, 5 rebounds) started the scoring with a two-hand dunk for a 3-point play. Maine West never trailed by avoiding what led to a 48-46 escape the first time and its last loss, 49-48 on Feb. 6.
The Warriors committed only 7 turnovers en route to a 44-25 lead after three quarters. The Spartans shot just 29 percent overall (16-for-55) and made only 1 of their 16 3-point attempts on a bank with 1:04 to play.
"This time we played our ball," said Johnson, who hit 11 of 12 free throws for 15 points and had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. "The stats showed it all in the first two meetings, we had two of our worst turnover games of the season. Ball control was a big difference."
The 5-foot-10 Regan was a big key to the Warriors going nearly 13 1/2 minutes without a miscue. And Brad Alesi (7 points) and Alfredo Jiminez (3 assists) had important roles in a 15-2 third-quarter tear that opened the lead to 40-21.
"Of course Frey and Johnson did good things," said Maine West coach Jim Sullivan. "But Regan and Fabian were outstanding - Bart in particular."
And Glenbrook North coach David Weber knew there was a problem when Johnson was guarding 6-2 Kosta Giannoulias (15 points) this time instead of Fabian.
"(Johnson) just stood behind him," Weber said. "When I saw that the first play we were in trouble and I knew it. We had to rely on perimeter shots and they weren't falling."
Glenbrook North got within 25-19 right after halftime when Tom Reagan went right at Frey, who had 3 fouls, and scored.
But Johnson got an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and eventually kicked it out to Alesi for a 3 to start a 10-0 run. Alesi also hit an 18-footer, Frey turned a lazy crosscourt pass into a steal and dunk and Regan hit Fabian for the first of his 4 third-quarter layups.
"I felt I owed it to the team to come out and have a tough game," Fabian said of fouls that allowed Giannoulias to hit the winning free throws in the loss to the Spartans. "Even though they didn't put the blame on me. …