Glenbrook South rolls past Evanston

Glenbrook South's early offense in the first two games of the playoffs was "a little concerning," Titans boys basketball coach Phil Ralston said.

He and the rest of the Titan Dome faithful had no worries Tuesday, cruising to a fast start against Evanston that led to a 69-53 victory in a Class 4A Glenbrook South sectional semifinal.

"We just told our guys, listen, we can't keep spotting people and then playing catch-up. Let's come out strong early, and our guys did," said Ralston, a 2015 Final Four coach with Geneva now in his fifth season in Glenview.

No. 1 seed Glenbrook South (32-2) advanced to Friday's sectional final against Wednesday's winner between No. 2 New Trier and No. 3 Rolling Meadows.

Paced by Elon-bound senior Nick Martinelli with 9 of his game-high 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, Glenbrook South took a 19-8 lead after one quarter and led 37-21 at halftime.

Certainly not alone in lighting it up, Titans senior point guard Cooper Noard hit a pair of 3s and scored 10 second quarter points. The Cornell commit finished with 18 points, followed by guard Gaven Marr with 11.

Senior guard Rashawn Bost scored 21 for No. 5 seed Evanston (21-10).

"It's five guys playing together," said Noard, Glenbrook South's third all-time scorer, right behind Martinelli.

"This group is so special and our team chemistry is just off the charts. The way we play off each other, the way we play together, just allows us to get on teams right away."

When Bost and Evanston trimmed Glenbrook South's lead to 43-31 at 4:35 of the third quarter, Martinelli displayed his all-around game.

The 6-foot-7 swingman spun through the lane for a bucket, scored inside off an R.J. Davis assist, stole the ball and dished a no-look pass to Marr for an easy basket.

The resulting 10-0 run gave the Titans a 53-31 lead that Evanston would not challenge. Martinelli finished with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

"It's that genuine bond that we have with each other that's taking us where we've been this season," Martinelli said.

  Glenbrook South's Cooper Noard drives to the basket for a layup against Evanston defenders Jack Tully, left, and Isaiah Moore during the Class 4A Glenbrook South boys basketball sectional semifinal in Glenview Tuesday. Joe Lewnard/
  Glenbrook South's Nick Martinelli makes an underhand shot in the paint during the Class 4A Glenbrook South boys basketball sectional semifinal in Glenview Tuesday. Joe Lewnard/
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