Raiders Begin Basketball Seasons With Thanksgiving Tournaments

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Raiders Begin Basketball Seasons With Thanksgiving Tournaments

Ryan Vozza, Sports Writer

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Girls:

Coming off back-to-back state final appearances and having brought home last year’s IHSA 3A second place title, the girls basketball team looks to continue that success into the 2019-2020 season. The Raiders will look to the varsity experience of Lauren Cohen (Jr.) and Raquel Laponte (Sr.) who have both been on varsity since their freshman year. Also, with multiple Division 1 schools having expressed their interest in Cohen, the team will look to her to lead them on another successful season.

The Raiders opened their season by placing second in the round-robin basketball tournament at Glenbard East. After defeating host Glenbard East, the Raiders moved into halftime on Tuesday, November 26th against Glenbard North, having lead 19-16.  “We just started out kind of scared,” Raider junior forward Iman Sellars said. “They were playing great defense, really aggressive and it kind of got to us. But it took that halftime to get it back together and we just came out really strong and confident. We were ready.” 

The Raiders made an impressive run in the third quarter, scoring the first 15 points of the second half. This run paved the way for the Raiders win over north 43-30, which brought their record to 2-1 which entered them into the conference play. 

Coach Morgan Eurasian expressed how pleased she was with the team finally having played to its expectations, “That was our first game with a real physical team, and I think it showed. I think it took us a minute to figure out how to play against it again. We haven’t seen that yet.” 

Boys:

Coming off the most successful season in program history, having advanced to the Elite 8 in the Class 3A IHSA state playoffs, the boys basketball team will have much to live up to this season. It will be no easy task, however, as the team graduated eight seniors last year and only two returning varsity players that saw real playing time. Coach Hardtke will look to seniors Nick Plaso and Brandon Malone to lead this year’s team.

Entering the season with the thanksgiving tournament at Glenbard West has always been a big game to start the season off with. Plaso talked about how much he has loved the atmosphere the game always brought, “It’s awesome to play great competition to start off the season. The atmosphere was loud and there was lots of energy in the gym that night. We as a team feed off the crowd energy.” 

Unfortunately, this game had ended with Plaso missing the last second three point attempt that would have sent the game to overtime. Alas, the Raiders fell to West 45-42. However, this did not discourage the team, as it went on to beat Glenbard East in a close game of 58-54 and to ravage Glenbard North in a 51-31 win. Ultimately finishing the tournament with a 2-1 record.