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Glenbard West gets to play another day
By Kevin Schmit | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/27/2013 10:49 PM

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While many people spent Tuesday’s playoff snow day stuck at home, a bunch of Glenbard West’s boys basketball players went to a local fitness center to shoot some hoops.

The Hilltoppers couldn’t stand the thought of even a day without basketball.

That desire showed on Wednesday as Glenbard West ousted Addison Trail 59-48 in the Class 4A Hoffman Estates regional quarterfinals.

The No. 13 Hilltoppers (14-12) advance to Thursday’s semifinals to face District 87 rival and No. 4 seed Glenbard East (18-6). The rematch of Glenbard West’s 55-54 November win over the Rams begins at 6 p.m.

“These guys were dying to play, and that’s not going to change because of one snow day,” said Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder. “This means a lot to these guys. They were disappointed, but I wasn’t worried about them. I thought we had good intensity but we weren’t too excited.”

Glenbard West had a comfortable 28-14 at half, but perhaps too comfortable. Addison Trail (9-21) burst out of the break to the tune of an 18-6 run. With their advantage drained to 34-32, however, Hilltoppers sophomore standout Keith Hayes responded with a three-point play to restore order.

Hayes added 12 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter to help Glenbard West keep at least a 4-point distance from the Blazers. Hayes nailed all 8 of his free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter and all 10 for the game.

“There was a sense of urgency,” Hayes said. “We had to start playing like we did in the first half. We kind of got lazy at the start of the second half. We just needed a timeout to get us going again.”

Junior James Pupillo put on his own show for Addison Trail. He scored all 7 of his team’s first-quarter points on his way to a 22-point outing.

The Blazers’ rally spawned from 6-of-9 third-quarter shooting, but the hole was too big after struggling through 6-of-22 first-half shooting.

Jeff Levesque scored 14 points off the bench for the Hilltoppers, while Addison Trail’s Joe Kurucar knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored 12 points.

“I don’t think they were tired from coming back,” Addison Trail coach Brendan Lyons said of his team’s third-quarter rally. “But you’re talking about a small margin for error when you’re trying to put together a bunch of scores and stops. We just couldn’t keep it up.”

Follow Kevin on Twitter@kevin_schmit