Boys Basketball: Hillcrest bottles up Reavis
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org December 10, 2013 9:38PM
Bakari Hull, of Hillcrest, brings the ball up court after his steal against Reavis at Hillcrest, Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, in Country Club Hills. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 12, 2014 6:30AM
Hillcrest coach Don Houston has some words of advice for opponents planning on snapping the Hawks’ 25-year conference winning streak.
“They need to get us early,” Houston said. “I believe the talent is here. We just have to make sure the guys execute and play as a team. Once that happens, we’ll be the Hillcrest of old.”
Hillcrest resembled a conference champion long enough Tuesday night to dispatch Reavis 64-46 in a South Suburban crossover in Country Club Hills.
Nine different players scored for Hillcrest (3-3, 1-1), led by Taylor Adway (20 points), Allen Jones (13) and George McDaniel (12).
“Kids today want to do things for themselves,” Houston lamented. “We’re trying to get them to realize they have to play for their teammates. That’s been a problem we’ve been having all year.”
That’s a major reason why the Hawks were an uncustomary 2-3 entering Tuesday’s affair.
Hillcrest led by seven after one quarter and 16 points at halftime on the strength of its 1-1-3 press, which wreaked havoc on Reavis. By the time Adway hammered home consecutive baseline jams in the third quarter, the Hawks’ lead had swelled to 37-17.
The 6-foot-8 Adway, a junior, scored 19 of his 20 points during the second and third periods. Whether he was knocking down high-percentage shots inside or kicking passes back out to the perimeter and away from double-teams, Adway was a force with which the Rams could not contend.
“I’m going to score, but when teams are tripling on me, I’m going to find the open man,” Adway said. “I have no trouble passing. It makes me a better player. We’re starting to get what the coaches have been telling us.”
When DeAngelo Isby buried a jumper to end the third, it extended Hillcrest’s lead to 47-21.
Game over? Not exactly.
Reavis used a 22-7 fourth-quarter run to close to within 54-43 with 2:40 remaining.
Eddie Puha led the resurgence, scoring nine of his team-high 15 points in the period. Abdalrhman Ishtaiah contributed six of his 10 points and Belal Abuzir came off the bench to nail two three-pointers.
The Hawks, however, weathered the storm and secured the win down the stretch, handing the Rams (6-1, 1-1) their first loss of the season.
“We forced too many tough shots,” Reavis coach Jeff Smith said. “Our game is taking good shots — high-percentage shots. Part of us not doing that is them (Hillcrest). We’ll get it back on track.”