Jackson Munro entered Thursday night with zero wins in Glenbrook South’s Titan Dome.
But he made sure to leave with one.
Munro scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to help secure New Trier’s 51-45 rivalry victory Thursday, Jan. 27, in Glenview.
“We didn’t win sophomore or freshman year, so it’s an amazing feeling,” the senior forward said. “Considering they are the second ranked team (by the Chicago Sun-Times) in the state coming in, just beating them on their home court, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
With the win, the Trevians — ranked No. 7 by the Sun-Times prior to the contest — avenged a 20-point loss to the Titans on Dec. 9 in one of the final games in Gates Gymnasium in Winnetka.
In the wake of that defeat, New Trier coach Scott Fricke, who missed the December game with COVID-19, told The Record that his team got outworked and Glenbrook South was the tougher team that evening.
Junior guard Jake Fiegen said the Trevians weren’t going to make the same mistake twice.
“It was just a fact,” he said of his coach’s criticism. “We didn’t play well the first game. We were soft and let them do whatever they wanted. This game we wanted to take it to them.”
To achieve that, the Trevians welcomed the presence of starting point guard Peter Kanellos, who also missed the December showdown.
Not only does the lightning quick Kanellos run New Trier’s offense, but he is the usual lead defender on Glenbrook South point guard Cooper Noard.
With Kanellos out front, Noard did not connect on a field goal for the game’s first 35 minutes. The star guard scored seven of his 11 points, including his only three, in the final 70 seconds.
“Peter did a great job guarding him; he always does a great job guarding him,” Fiegen said. “And that’s what we need. If you take (Cooper) out, it really increases our chances to win the game.”
Led by Noah Shannon and Munro, New Trier also slowed down the Titans crafty big man, Nick Martinelli, who finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
While those stars were dimmed, Glenbrook South’s third option, R.J. Davis, shone bright. The junior guard drained four three-pointers in the first half, each one kicking the momentum back to the home team as the game went back and forth.
But in the second half, Davis struggled to get open as New Trier plugged its defensive holes.
“He was on tonight,” Trevians guard Josh Kirkpatrick said. ”Going into halftime, our coaches really told us that we can’t give up those open threes he got and we really focused on that.”
In the first half, New Trier was forced to hit contested shots against a spirited GBS defense.
Fiegen and Kirkpatrick combined for four three-pointers, while Munro quietly got 8 first-half points as New Trier trailed 24-22 at halftime.
Sparked by its defense and methodical offense, the Trevians regained control in the third quarter.
Kirkpatrick and Fiegen each hit a triple, and Glenbrook South managed just two field goals in the period.
A 20-6 New Trier run lasted until midway through the fourth quarter and was capped by a Munro bucket plus the foul to give the Trevs their largest lead of the night at 44-34.
“I just knew it was winning time,” Munro said of his aggressive play in the final quarter. “When it’s winning time, I feel like I have to step up and score more baskets. I feel like i did that.”
With a raucous crowd behind them, the Titans made one final push, highlighted by a 35-foot three-point bucket from Noard — his first field goal of the night.
Another Noard basket cut the deficit to four at 47-43, and a Trevs’ turnover and foul gave GBS a chance. But the Titans missed the front end of a 1 and 1, and Munro promptly followed with two free throws to seal the deal.
With the season series tied one win apiece, the two teams may have a rubber match on the schedule. The Trevians and Titans will likely be the top two seeds in the IHSA 4A Sectional hosted by Glenbrook South. While other teams, such as Rolling Meadows, Glenbrook North or Evanston, could spoil the fun, Munro said a sectional championship meeting would be appropriate.
“It’s a huge rivalry. Since freshman year we’ve been playing against each other and it’s been us versus GBS basically. Every year it seems like we always split,” Munro said. “I think it’s fitting for all that to culminate in a sectional championship. I think it’s special in that way.”
Thursday’s victory was the Trevians seventh straight since an overtime loss to highly ranked Simeon in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. In that timeframe, New Trier has picked up wins against ranked opponents Benet Academy, Yorkville Christian and Bolingbrook, as well as leagemates Glenbrook North, Maine South and Niles West.
The schedule does not get any softer as the Trevians square off against Rolling Meadows (20-2) Saturday, Jan. 29, in Loyola Academy’s War on the Shore.