After picking up two early fouls in the first quarter of Friday's game against Metro Suburban Conference rival Glenbard South, Timothy Christian center Connor VanderBrug was itching to get back on the court.
VanderBrug didn't get off the bench until the third quarter, and when his feet hit the hardwood, the 6-foot-6 junior came out firing. VanderBrug sank back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a key run to help the Trojans surge to a commanding lead.
They rolled from there for a 61-47 victory over the visiting Raiders in Elmhurst.
“We came out and started playing more like a team,” VanderBrug said. “We shared it a lot and we were able to get a lot of open jumpers, which was nice. I was waiting to get back in the second quarter but (Timothy Christian coach Jack LeGrand) saved me. I go inside-outside.”
“We got in a really good rhythm for awhile and Connor can do that,” LeGrand said of VanderBrug's long-range accuracy. “Connor was itching when he was sitting in foul trouble in the first half. He was anxious to be out there to shoot the basketball a little bit.”
VanderBrug led all scorers with 16 points, while all-around senior guard Danny Leach chipped in 12 points for the Trojans (8-11, 2-5).
“Danny plays a good floor game,” LeGrand said. “He does a lot for us. He is a gem. He defends. He handles the ball for us. He can shoot with anybody.”
Ahead 26-19 at halftime, Timothy Christian outscored Glenbard South (6-12, 4-3) in the third quarter by a 21-11 margin to lead 47-30 heading into the final eight minutes of action. Besides VanderBrug's 3s during that 8-0 spurt, the Trojans got other crucial buckets in the quarter from Luke Davidson and Justin Funchess.
They were really active moving the ball around the perimeter and driving to the hoop, forcing the defense to collapse. The Raiders struggled with their shooting. They shot 15.3 percent from the floor in the first quarter, which put them in an early hole.
Glenbard South players like Chaun Rickette and Alex Jeske did a nice job attacking gaps in the zone at times. They each scored 14 points to lead their team. Rickette made some athletic moves to the hoop for points, but it wasn't enough.
“(The Trojans) outplayed us tonight,” said Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke. “They shoot the ball well. Loose balls they beat us to and we had trouble executing. Coach LeGrand had them ready to go and they played a good ballgame.
“For the most part of the night, we settled for jump shots from the perimeter and we did not shot the ball well and got ourselves in a deficit.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.