Boys basketball scores fourth seed

GBN to play Taft in regional semifinal


Sophomore Josh Fridman attempts a floater in a game against Evanston on Feb. 1 after driving into the paint. The Spartans won 51-44 after previously losing to the Wildkits 50-44 in overtime on Dec. 10. Photo by Jiya Sheth

After winning over 20 regular season games, the highest number of wins for the boys varsity basketball team in the past 10 years, the team earned the fourth seed in the Glenview Sectional. The team is scheduled to play Taft in the regional semifinal on Feb. 23 and with a win would move on to play the winner of Evanston versus Schaumburg in the regional final.

“I don’t think we really care about the seed, we just want to have our shot in the playoffs.

“Every team is very dangerous,” said junior Ryan Cohen. “The 16 and 17 seeds [are] just as dangerous as the one seed in the playoffs, so anything can happen.”

With a winning record of 21-7 as of Feb. 14, the majority of the team’s losses have been close conference games. This includes a 50-44 overtime loss to Evanston on Dec. 10, a 60-59 loss to GBS on Jan. 7, a 59-56 loss to New Trier on Jan. 21, and a 53-50 loss to New Trier on Feb. 11.

Playing well in all four quarters and finishing games strong will be the key to beating these good teams, sophomore Josh Fridman said.

“Once we start playing a full game, if we can stay consistent, we’ll start beating really good teams, and I’m not sure if anybody expects that,” Fridman said.

According to Head Coach Quin Hayes, one of the team’s biggest wins this season was on Jan. 19 against Yorkville Christian, a team led by Duke university commit Jaden Schutt.

“We played really well, probably our most complete game to date,” said Hayes. “From first quarter to fourth quarter, the full 32 minutes, we played really good basketball.”

Something that sets this team apart from others is the focus on defense, Hayes said.

“You can go to different gyms and you might not be able to shoot well, but we always say defense travels.

“I feel like each team needs an identity, and our identity is defense,” Hayes said.

According to Cohen, this year people expected him to lead the team in stats, but he has instead prioritized defense and being a leader on and off the court.

“This year I am taking defense as the number one thing and being a leader vocally throughout the whole season,” said Cohen. “When I’m on the floor I’m talking to everybody, telling them what to do and then in practice doing the same thing.”

As of Feb. 14, the team has a conference record of 5-5. Cohen dropped a career high 31 points against Wheaton North on Nov. 24 and Fridman notched a season high 12 assists against Buffalo Grove on Jan. 8. The team placed third in the Lake Zurich Martin Luther King tournament on Jan. 17, with Cohen and Fridman earning all-tournament.

“This season is really just to get GBN back on the map and really just be able to compete in one of the best conferences in Illinois,” Cohen said.