GAMER: DEERFIELD 45, GBN 42
On Military Appreciation Night at Glenbrook North, Spartans boys basketball coach David Weber saluted a player from the visiting squad.
Deerfield High School senior guard Alex Casieri netted more than half (23) of his team’s points in a 45-42 Central Suburban League North victory on Dec. 15 — the Spartans’ first loss of the season.
“Best player on the court tonight, clearly,” Weber said of the savvy and energetic 6-footer. “We couldn’t stop him.
“This game,” he added, “was also about loose balls. They killed us in that department. They were diving for them; we were reaching for them.”
Senior guard/forward Evan Barnes paced North with 13 points, with all of them coming in the middle two quarters. The 6-2, 170-pounder tallied nine points from three-point territory.
Glenbrook North (7-1, 2-1) responded to a 7-2 deficit with a 10-2 run in the middle of the first quarter. Spartans senior forward Kellen Witherell (10 points) hit a trey and a pair of free throws in the spurt.
Deerfield (3-6, 2-1) led 12-11 after one quarter and 35-34 heading into the final quarter in Northbrook. The Warriors owned their biggest lead (43-38) in the second half when 6-4 senior guard Danny Siegel (10 points) hit a three-pointer with 3:01 remaining.
Consecutive buckets from North’s Brian Johnson and Max Knebelkamp (6 points) made it a one-point game.
Following a Deerfield timeout at 0:53, Casieri hit two free throws 27 seconds later to give the visitors a 45-42 advantage.
Witherell missed a corner trey attempt with six ticks left, and Knebelkamp’s three-point try — after a Glenbrook North timeout, with 3.2 seconds left — failed to force overtime.
“They played harder than we did,” Weber said, adding Deerfield is a well-coached team. “We need to practice. We need to get over our injuries. And we need to play harder.”
Casieri poured in seven of the Warriors’ 10 points in the final eight minutes; all but two of his points in the fourth frame came from the free-throw line.
Johnson and Spartans junior center Frank Siegien (8 points) led the hosts in rebounds with five apiece. Witherell came down with four boards.
Deerfield guards Ari Nadler and Myles Baer grabbed four rebounds apiece.
Warriors starting center Brandon Lieb, a 6-9 sophomore, left the game in the first minute with an ankle injury and did not return.