Friday, March 4, 2011
By Mike Buda
Niles Norths boys basketball team is not used to success.
They are now.
Niles North (22-6) pulled out the 69-65 victory over Glenbrook North (19-9) in the Glenbrook North Regional championship Friday.
The Vikings have now set a school record for wins in a season and have grasped their second regional title in school history with the first coming in 2000.
Its been a while, said coach Glenn Olson. This is our kids first experience by ever even seeing this happen so were very excited for them.
Set aside the historic moment for Niles North, senior forward Abdel Nader put on a clinic.
In the middle two quarters, Nader scored 20 of his teams 25 points en route to his final total of 36.
I just knew that couldnt really guard me so I just knew I had to take over in order to win the game and thats what I did, said Nader.
The Vikings were ready to seal the win and took a 54-39 lead with 52.9 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Spartans rallied.
They werent giving up and they hit shots like we knew they would, Nader said. We just tried to keep the lead as far away as possible and we hit some shots, we played smart and we got to the free throw line in the end and knocked them down.
GBN senior Peter Szostak and junior Joey Prince helped their team reach within six before NN senior Andre Shaw hit the dagger three pointer.
The leading scorer also grabbed seven rebounds while senior Cassius Bell added 11 points Shaw finished with five points.
Sophomore Malachi Nix also put up eight points with two steals.
The Vikings will now get ready to square off with Notre Dame in the semifinals of the New Trier Sectional Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Im just so happy right now, said Nader. Im speechless.