No. 11 New Trier lead Glenbrook South by seven points Friday when star senior center Ciaran Brayboy left with a head injury.
It ended up winning by 12.
“We saw blood everywhere, and we just came back together as a group,” fellow senior big man Spencer Boehm said after the Trevians’ 57-45 victory. “We knew we had to keep on fighting with our lead that we’d just built, without the guy who’s been playing as well as anyone on the team. I thought we handled that very well.”
Boehm — who, at 6-8, is only an inch shorter than Brayboy — moved into the pivot role and fed a hot-shooting collection of guards. The end result was a 10-for-17 from deep shooting line for New Trier (21-3), which fed off an energetic crowd to pull away in the second half after a halftime tie.
Noah Osher (13 points) hit four of those threes, Chuck Sweat swished three off the bench in the second half and Boehm (12 points, eight rebounds) added two of his own.
“We played really well, we played well together, we moved the ball, we found the open guy,” coach Scott Fricke said. “We don’t practice the way we played in the second half, because we normally play with two bigs in the game, and our guys did a good job adjusting to that.”
Boehm said he played his freshman and sophomore seasons as a de facto center, and still does in AAU basketball, so he felt comfortable inside after Brayboy’s departure. The cloud of Brayboy’s injury hung over the remainder of proceedings, however.
The Harvard commit was knocked down in a scrum in the waning seconds of the third quarter, and play wasn’t blown dead until 10 or 12 seconds later, by which time blood had dripped all over the court.
“All I know is that he’s in the hospital getting stitches in his face because he has a big gash in his mouth,” Fricke said. “We’ll find out the rest later tonight.”
Glenbrook South (17-7) junior Dom Martinelli continued a torrid streak by accounting for more than half his team’s points, scoring 23 on 7-of-12 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the line. He did the same in the two teams’ first meeting in December, when he tallied 24 in a 47-42 loss.
But the Titans struggled defensively against the Trevians’ dynamic combination of height and outside shooting, and offensively faded after their own hot start from deep. Senior Mac Hubbard went 4-for-7 from three-point range but the rest of his team made only one of 11 attempted triples.
“We played defense better the last game. I didn’t think our defense here late was what we wanted it to be,” Glenbrook South coach Phil Ralston said. “If I could have three of those possessions back again, a transition basket that got taken away from us, a couple different calls go a different way, maybe it’s a bit tighter game.”
New Trier doesn’t play again until next Friday and has only two games over the next two weeks, so it will have plenty of time to either get Brayboy healthy again or work on the gameplan without him heading into a massive rematch against No. 6 Evanston on Feb. 15.
If the Trevians shoot like they did Friday, they could have a real chance.
“We’re all just very confident right now shooting the ball,” Boehm said. “Our team is just putting the ball in the hoop — we’ve got a good mojo going on right now with our threes.”