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Antioch’s Kyle Glassman spent plenty of time on the floor of Lakes’ basketball court on Tuesday, diving for loose balls, taking charges and drawing fouls against bigger players.
All in a day’s work for the 5-foot-11 senior point guard.
“I grew up playing against three older brothers, so getting knocked around once in a while is no big thing for me,” he said. “That’s my kind of game.”
A hotly contested Northern Lake County Conference and district rivalry game is right up Glassman’s alley too. He scored a game-high 12 points off the bench in the Sequoits’ 45-37 victory in front of a near-capacity crowd.
“If you can’t get up for a game like this against your rival in front of a huge crowd, you shouldn’t be playing,” Glassman said. “I loved it, especially since this is my senior season, and we won’t have many more games like this.”
While some of the other players seemed a little tight in tense situations, Glassman was right at home. He hit two 3-pointers in the first half and then made all six of his free throws in the second half to help Antioch (11-10, 5-3) win for the seventh time in its past eight games.
The Sequoits’ victory also avenged a 44-41 overtime loss to Lakes (14-7, 6-2) earlier in the season.
“That’s the kind of player Kyle is,” Antioch coach Sean Connor said. “He seems to get better in the tougher times of the game. He just wants to do all the little things needed to make us successful, no matter who he is going up against. He doesn’t get scared. He will go inside against taller players to get a rebound or to try to score. ”
Glassman also doesn’t mind coming off the bench.
“That says a lot about the kid that he’s our team captain, but he doesn’t mind not starting if that means it’s going to help our team in the long run,” Connor said.
Able to make clutch shots and free throws and to handle the ball in pressure situations, Glassman knows he will get plenty of playing time.
“That’s what I like about this team is that we have a lot of unselfish players and everyone gets along,” he said. “We started the season a little slow, but we are now pulling in the same direction, and I think we still have a shot to win our conference.
“That’s why this win over Lakes was so big for us because it kept us right in the thick of things.”
One reason for the Sequoits’ resurgence: They’re becoming more comfortable with a new zone defense implemented by assistant Dan Howard.
“Dan learned it from former College of DuPage coach Don Klass, and it has been working well for us,” Connor said. “It helps us get out on the shooters plus cover big players inside.”
Antioch limited all-conference center Brock Marino to eight points and kept the Eagles’ perimeter players from getting too many open looks.
“I know it wasn’t one of Lakes’ better shooting nights, as both teams missed some shots they normally make,” Connor said. “We held them to three points in the second quarter — that helped us build a double-digit lead — so we were playing pretty good defense too.”
Glassman’s hustle plays kept the Sequoits in front in the final minutes.
“I like the ball in my hands when it’s close,” he said. “If I have to dive on the floor to get it, that’s what I’m going to do. Nobody wants to win more than I do.”
Darren Day is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.