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The Northbrook Tower 041218

46 | April 12, 2018 |

46 | April 12, 2018 | The Northbrook tower sports Spartans down Titans in annual tilt Michal Dwojak, Sports Editor Not much needs to be added to any meeting between Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South, but when the two met on Thursday, April 5, they played for more than a rivalry. The two teams met in the annual “Battle for the Cure” match, one won by the Spartans 25-15, 25- 19, in what has become a tradition at the beginning of each season. Both the Spartans and Titans played to raise awareness and funds to battle Ewing’s Sarcoma and other pediatric cancers. While the rivalry might be more than enough motivation for the players on both teams, it’s fighting a disease that has affected both programs and brings together their efforts far beyond just playing volleyball. “Hopefully we gathered a little bit of money for it,” Glenbrook North head coach Chris Cooper said. “It’s a good thing to do for however long we’ve been doing it. It adds a nice kind of feeling to the match.” The Titans’ link comes from Bryan Paynter, who was a 2004 graduate and four-year member of the Titans volleyball program. Paynter was diagnosed with Ewing’s and lost his battle in 2007. GBN volleyball alumnus Teddy Shapiro is in Online content For the photo gallery from this game, visit remission after battling Ewing’s Sarcoma. This was the 11th year the Titans have played to draw awareness for the disease and more than $25,000 has been raised to help fund research. When both head coaches realized the impact it had on both programs, they decided to co-host the annual match to help draw more awareness. Players from both teams wore yellow headbands in support, trying to do the least they can to support the cause. “We’re not going to cure it, but we’re going to do what we can to help fund the research to get better treatment,” Glenbrook South head coach Tim Monahan said. “We’re just going to keep on doing it and do what we can do help with better treatment. It’s the least that we can do.” For coaches and players of both teams, although they might be rivals on the court, it’s nice to have the support from both communities to pull off a successful event. “To have it in our communities, to have it in our programs, it’s great,” Monahan said. “We just hope we can keep on doing more and more. It’s great to have this community and have this support that we have, because we’ve got a lot over the years and will continue to do so. I wouldn’t want to be doing this anywhere else.” When it came time to play, there was no love lost between the two rivals. The Spartans ran off to a commanding start with a 20-14 lead in the first set after the two teams sized each other up for the first few points of the set. GBN held off a late GBS rally and took the first set 25-15. The Titans came off with a stronger start in the second set, pushing the tempo more and creating opportunities, but the Spartans started to move the ball well, used a late rally when the score reached the 20-point mark and ruined any chance the Titans had of a comeback to take the second set 25-19. Cooper was proud to see something he hasn’t seen much this season. After losing his entire lineup to graduation, his new players are trying to grow accustomed to each. In the first few matches of the season, the Spartans have bent when faced with pressure. Against the Titans, they didn’t. “That’s something we’ve struggled with not only this season, but last season too,” libero Matthew Zhang said. “Seeing that progress is great to see and our ceiling is so high.” A match like the one against their rival is what’s going to motivate the Spartans as they move further along the season. Cooper has seen some impressive things from his talented players and liked the ball movement he saw from his senior setter Jackson Weil, but GBN is ready to show how talented it can be. “Going into the season, a lot of guys were down on us,” Zhang said. “We came in with a chip on our shoulder, proving the haters wrong. We have a lot of great things coming in the future for sure.” Fat Tire Bike Guided Tours, Equipment Rentals, +Apparel Sales Open in Northbrook Spring, Summer, +Autumn Workout, Enjoy The Outdoors, Have Group Fun! (715) 413-2076 Glenbrook North players get ready to receive the ball against Glenbrook South on Thursday, April 5, in Glenview. Michal Dwojak/22nd Century Media sports the northbrook tower | April 12, 2018 | 47 Boys Gymnastics Spartans make progress at Mundelein Invite Michal dwojak/22nd Century Media 1st-and-3 players of the week 1. Isabel Herbst (ABOVE) North’s defender provided the Spartans with a strong defensive effort against the Wildkits in a 12- 11 loss. 2. Casey Mutchnik The Spartans’ gymnast helped lead the way at the Mundelein Invite, finishing fourth at the pommel horse. 3. Jack Garibaldi The Spartans’ pitcher put together a gem when he pitched for the team in Tennessee, allowing no earned runs in one of the wins GBN had in the Final Flight Baseball Classic. David Jaffe Freelance Reporter Glenbrook North’s Casey Mutchnik had a consistent performance at the Mundelein Invite on Friday, April 6, and finished fourth on pommel horse (8.7). His highest score came on vault (8.95). “I was happy to land my vault,” Mutchnik said. “I haven’t always been landing it this season. But it’s gotten better and I was pleased with how it went tonight.” He also had an 8.5 on still rings and an 8.8 on parallel bars. But he still felt there was some work to do on certain events. “My rings overall were pretty clean,” Mutchnik said. “I got good scores on p-bars and pommel. But I feel like my routines didn’t go as well as they could have. There’s still some areas that could have gone better.” Though Mutchnik is the Spartans’ top gymnast, the team has plenty of experience and leadership as well as young talent. “We have three seniors on the team so I feel like even though I have a lot of experience, there are a lot of guys that are leaders on this team,” Mutchnik said. “There’s a lot of talent. Daniel (Lavrentiev) is only a freshman and he’s great on floor and has good skills in every event. There’s a lot to like about this team.” Glenbrook North’s Daniel Lavrentiev competes at the Mundelein Invite on Friday, April 6. Brittany Kapa/22nd Century media Mutchnik had an 8.5 on floor and a 48.95 in allaround. GBN was ninth (137.1) and other scores were Lavrentiev on floor (8.8) and vault (8.1) and Kevin Kapustka on floor (8.4). Glenbrook South’s Lucas Pauker has already had plenty of state meet experience. But now in his senior year, he still wants to continue to get better. And in a crowded field on Friday, April 6, at the Mundelein Invite, he took ninth in all-around (51.875). Pauker was very happy with how he did on the h- bar, tying for 10th with an 8.3. “I’ve really been working on my h-bar routine,” Pauker said. “I hit the routine and it felt really good to see the effort that I’ve been putting into it pay off.” He was fifth on p-bars (9.025) and tied for 10th on floor (9.1). “My floor was really clean and I was able to stick my landings,” Pauker said. “And on p-bars my dismount was better than it had been so I think there was a lot of good that came out of those events.” Pauker, who also had 8.7 on vault, 8.45 on rings and 8.3 on pommel horse, still feels there are improvements he can make in order to have another successful state run. “I’m still trying to integrate new skills and get my routines cleaner,” Pauker said. “My goal is to make it to the state finals in as many events as I can.” Max McWilliams got an 8 on p-bars and Ethan Charvet had 7.9 on floor and Arian Gil had a 7.8 on floor. GBS was 13th (129.375) Junior Kevin Connors has been a very welcome addition to Highland Park gymnastics. All Connors did at the 19-team Mundelein Bob Bohl Invite was win the allaround title (55.825) as well as the horizontal bar (9.6) and the still rings (9.5) and he finished with higher than a nine in all but one event. His dismount on the h- bar was extremely difficult but he managed to get high up in the air and perfectly stick the landing. “My goal on the dismount was to get as much height as possible,” Connors said. “No one else was doing that type of dismount so I wanted to make sure it looked perfect.” Despite not having an easy task, he was just as strong on rings. “The judges were a little tough on my score,” Connors said. “But I felt I hit my routine just about perfectly. When you stick it exactly the way you want to it’s a great feeling.” Connors was also second on pommel horse (9.3), vault (9.425) and parallel bars (9.3) and earned an 8.7 on floor. He joined Highland Park after previously competing in club gymnastics. And he is enjoying the aspect of competing for a team. “Club is very serious and the sole focus is trying to compete in college,” Connors said. “But high school you’re competing to help your team do as well as they can. Everyone fights hard in every event and that’s really fun to see. I was used to it being very individual but it’s enjoyable competing now in a team-oriented fashion.” The Giants were fifth at the invite with 149.725 points. Matt Hyatt took fifth on vault (9.3) and tied for sixth on p-bars (9). He also had solid scores on floor (8.5) and h-bar (8.2). Tim Steves did well on floor (8.7), vault (8.2) and p-bars (8). Listen Up “It adds a nice kind of feeling to the match.” Chris Cooper — The Glenbrook North boys volleyball coach on playing in “Battle for the Cure.” tunE in What to watch this week The Glenbrook North girls lacrosse team takes on Deerfield on Friday, April 13. • 6 p.m. at Deerfield Index 44 - Girls Water Polo 43 - Athlete of the Week Fastbreak is compiled by The Tower’s staff. Send comments to