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Glenbard West's Keith Hayes tries to push past Bolingbrook's Ben Moore. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Bolingbrook is one of the tallest and longest teams in the state, with 10 players standing 6-foot-2 or taller. That length serves the Raiders well, especially when they lock down on defense and dominate the boards like they did on Thursday evening.
Playing a 3-2 zone defense for the first time all season, Bolingbrook shut down host Glenbard West in the fourth quarter, pulling away to a 68-53 nonconference win. The Raiders (7-2) had 30 rebounds, nine steals and eight blocks as a team, and forced the Hilltoppers to rely on three-pointers and free throws. Glenbard West (6-2) finished the game with just seven two-point baskets.
“Everybody was just playing hard and moving hard defensively, trying to do the best we can,” said Bolingbrook forward Ben Moore. “We had some minor mishaps running the 3-2 for the first time, but we got it together in the second half and played the zone well.”
Raiders head coach Rob Brost felt the switch to the 3-2 would serve his team well because of their size, but also because of the opponent. Glenbard West is a small and quick team, and Brost believed that by pressuring them with a zone, it would negate their speed and force errors on the Hilltoppers part.
The strategy worked. Leading by just two points early in the fourth quarter, the Bolingbrook defense took over the game, sparking a 19-6 run to end the contest. The key, according to Brost, was forcing the ball out of Glenbard West guard Keith Hayes’ hands. Hayes finished the game with 30 points, but scored just two in the fourth quarter.
“We talked about it at halftime: if we hammer them on the glass and then finish around the rim, we’ll beat them by 20, and that’s exactly what happened,” Brost said. “We wanted to use our length and force them to put it on the floor.”
Moore was especially effective on both ends. The SMU-recruit scored 18 points, grabbed 10 boards and blocked four shots, completely eliminating whatever inside presence the Hilltoppers tried to establish. He was one of four Raiders to score in double-figures.