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Cole Hardtke was a scrawny kid when he arrived at Glenbard South three years ago. He had a dad, and a dream. It took a couple years to figure things out, but they did. When the Raiders won a sectional title last week, the program's first since 2000, Cole Hardtke bawled.
"My goal coming in freshman year was I wanted to win one regional with him [his dad], and try to win one sectional," said Cole Hardtke, now a sturdy 6-foot-4 senior. "There was a long shot of going down state. But we were right there."
The Raiders, in only the school's second supersectional, were right there against Illinois basketball royalty, Peoria Manual, at Tuesday's Class 3A NIU Supersectional. Even after a rough first-half stretch, Glenbard South trailed by four twice in the third quarter.
It came apart after that, Manual running away with the 69-52 win. But the lingering emotions were of the journey, not the last stop.