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Northbrook Thursday, 11/29/12 Glenbrook South's Justin Busiel (24) is fouled by Glenbrook North's Zach Hamer (34) as he makes a shot during the first quarter of Thursday's game. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Glenbrook North coach Dave Weber stood outside the Spartans’ locker room, completely tapped out of ways to stop Glenbrook South senior Justin Busiel.
Weber had thrown everything at Busiel — different defenders, a zone defense, double teams — in Glenbrook North’s 63-60 win on Nov. 29, but Busiel kept scoring. The senior amassed a career-high 32 points in the game, 25 more than the Titans’ next highest scorer.
After the game, Busiel earned immense praise from the Central Suburban League’s most decorated coach.
“He’s like the perfect high school basketball player: 6-4, 6-5; shoots the deep 3; very quick, very athletic,” Weber said. “When he releases the ball — I scouted him — it looks like it’s going in every time. ... There was nothing we could do to stop him.”
Busiel was primarily a slasher last year, but he can now score from anywhere on the court after adding a smooth, accurate 3-point shot to his repertoire. Busiel also has improved his defense and rebounding.
The 6-foot-4 forward did it without playing on an AAU team over the summer. Instead, he worked with his Glenbrook South teammates during the Titans’ June summer camp and then, throughout the summer, Busiel worked with Glenbrook North assistant Scott Lidskin two times a week.
“He’s a very well-rounded scorer,” Glenbrook South coach Ben Widner said. “He’s improved defensively, he’s improved his rebounding. He’s improved his 3-point shot. He has a post-up game. He’s improved, I think, every aspect of his game.”
That improvement, combined with his game’s pre-existing strengths and height that creates match-up problems for most teams, has been vital in keeping Glenbrook South close in games against quality opponents like Glenbrook North and Loyola.
“I think everyone kind of recognizes that I’m one of the go-to players on the team, one of the leaders of the team,” said Busiel, who scored 21 points against Loyola on Nov. 24. “I, myself, recognize it. I think we all believe I’m our best option to score and when we really needed points (against Glenbrook North) they did a good job of looking for me and getting it to me in good spots.”.