Langston Glaude ended 2012 on a high note for the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team, hitting a last-second jumper as the Panthers topped Roman Catholic (Pa.) to win the PrimeTime Shootout’s Flight 1 title.
Last Friday, Glaude looked to start 2013 with similar heroics, draining a three-pointer as PDS forged ahead of Abington Friends (Pa.) 48-47 with two minutes in regulation.
The junior guard acknowledged that he is developing a comfort level with clutch situations.
“When the clock gets down, I want the ball in my hand,” said Glaude. “Another thing I want for the team to know is that if things go wrong, they can always look to me and I am going to try to either take the shot or hit somebody else to score. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’ll do it, no matter what.”
The Panthers, though, couldn’t get it done down the stretch as they ended up losing 51-50 to Abington
Friends to drop to 7-3.
For the proud PDS squad, which advanced to the state Prep B title game last winter, the setback was unsettling.
“I thought we were going to pull it out; we are an experienced team and we have been through situations like this,” said Glaude, who had 12 points in the loss with senior teammate Davon Reed tallying 22 to lead the Panthers.
“We practice situations like this all the time. We play in games like this all the time where it is close. We just made some bad decisions as a team. We wanted it; I am not going to say they wanted it more.”
Glaude acknowledged that the Panthers didn’t look like they wanted it more in the first half, trailing 29-17 at intermission.
“We came out casual, feeling good about a big win,” said Glaude, referring to the victory over Roman Catholic. “We just came out slow, that was pretty much it.”
Some of the Panther players slammed the wall as they headed to their locker room for the break.
“The halftime message was to get hungry,” recalled Glaude. “We looked at each other and said this isn’t us, this isn’t our team. We have got to fight back. We are fighters.”
In the second half, PDS didn’t waste any time fighting back, outscoring Abington Friends 20-15 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to seven entering the final eight minutes of play.
“Defensively, I felt like we played really well,” said Glaude. “Defense is our foundation. When we get it started on defense, that’s when the offense comes. I think the third quarter showed that.”
The defeat showed PDS that it can’t afford to let up its intensity. “With every experience, we can always get better,” said Glaude.
“With this experience, I think we have got to come out hungry every game. Today we came out a little casual but if we come every game the same way we started the second half, we can beat anybody in this region.”
Glaude, for his part, is looking to establish himself as one of the top players in the region.
“My confidence is definitely building tremendously,” said Glaude. “Working all summer boosted the swag in my game. I did a lot of camps and individual workouts on my own.”
In Glaude’s view, the Panthers have plenty of reason to be confident going forward.
“Once we are focused, once we are going at it, we have got that fire in us and it is hard to stop us,” said Glaude, who will look to get the Panthers back on the winning track when they host Hamilton High on January 9 and Princeton High on January 12 before playing at Hun on January 15. “We feel like we can play like we did in the PrimeTime Shootout any day.”