Boys’ basketball shoots for strong season

Preston Zbroszczyk, Sports Editor

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The basketball season for the North varsity Tigers began with high optimism to win the SPC conference title and put it back in their hands for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

“When healthy and playing together, we can play with anyone in our sectional,” coach Robert Krahulik said.

The Tigers started the season with the annual Lyons Township Thanksgiving Invite. North went 1-2 on the weekend winning their opener to Hinsdale South 65-63 then dropping the last two games to Maine South 69-61 and to Lyons Township 56-74 to wrap up the weekend.

“It was almost like a test for us,” junior guard Christian Lucas said. “We know what we are capable of. It’s just going to take some time.”

The conference schedule began on Dec. 7 when the Tigers hosted Joliet West and fought to the end in a 56 to 52 win.  They fell to their next two opponents in losses to Plainfield Central 58 to 44 and then to Oswego 64 to 56.

“We have gotten a lot better defensively,” Krahulik said. “We’ve done a better job rebounding and the offense has had more ball movement.”

Following the rough start to conference, the Tigers faced more challenges in the upcoming schedule.

“I feel like everyone on this team wants to see everyone else succeed and do great things for the team and themselves,” senior guard Adonis Cubas-Hughes said.

Next, the Tigers took to the Pontiac tournament at the end of December where they went 1-2 losing in a heartbreaking 59-55 loss. Next, they played conference rival Joliet West winning 59-55. Closing out the tournament, the Tigers fell to Danville 71-56.

“I think Pontiac mainly showed us how good we can do if we work as a team and play hard every game,” Cubas-Hughes said. “When we battle and play like the underdog, then we become a completely different team.”

The Tigers came off a strong non-conference win on Jan. 15 against Neuqua Valley where senior forward Carter Thurman led the team in scoring with 29 points and senior guard Matt O’Boye had 15.

“I’m just trying to do anything I can to help this team in games,” Thurman said. “We are very capable of being up there with the best of the conference.”

Midway through conference play, the Tigers sit at 7-6 with big games against Naperville North and Waubonsie Valley all approaching later into the season.

“The remaining conference schedule is going to be tough,” senior forward Harrison Pfeifer said.

Lucas concurs with Pfeifer’s assessment.  “These last couple of games are going to allow us to perfect our plays and really work on what we need to make sure we play to the best of our abilities.”

 

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