Boys Basketball: Crete-Monee holds off Lincoln-Way East
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media March 3, 2014 10:08PM
Updated: April 5, 2014 6:24AM
Crete-Monee’s Tyler Williams isn’t gun-shy.
After missing his first four shots from the field, Williams buried his next four attempts from beyond the arc, the second of which gave the Warriors a 16-15 lead over Lincoln-Way East as the first-quarter buzzer sounded.
Crete-Monee never trailed again.
Williams finished with 25 points and the Warriors downed Lincoln-Way East 71-55 Monday night in a Class 4A Bloom Regional quarterfinal.
“I had to get used to the rims,” Williams said. “I was a little anxious out there. I had to calm down and find my rhythm.”
Crete-Monee (15-12) will meet Joliet Central at 8 p.m. Tuesday for a trip to the regional final. The Warriors lost to the Steelmen 69-55 on Nov. 27 in just their second game of the season.
Like his quick-trigger shooting stroke, Williams didn’t hesitate to give a frank assessment of his team.
“We really don’t have the athleticism of some other teams,” Williams said. “I feel like we have the talent and skill level to win games — we have a few guys who can jump — but we don’t have a lot of athletes with the full package.”
Lincoln-Way East played a zone for the majority of the contest, which Williams said was a welcome sign for some of the team’s shooters. Bobby Parker chipped in 12 points, Mike Nelson had 11 and Brandon Johnson nine for the Crete-Monee.
Lincoln-Way East (6-20) countered with nine players reaching the scorebook, led by Jake Attar’s 14 points off the bench. Austin Winkler chipped in 11 points and Josh Jones and Luke Lizen each added seven.
It appeared Crete-Monee would run away after extending a 35-23 halftime lead into a 54-35 advantage after three quarters. East didn’t pack it in, opening the fourth quarter on an 8-1 roll.
Attar scored eight of his team-high 14 in the fourth, and his bucket on an assist from Tony Garcia cut Crete-Monee’s lead to 61-52 midway through the period.
“We always play hard,” Lincoln-Way East coach Rich Kolimas said. “From Game 1 to Game 26, we improved dramatically. We just dribbled a little too much against their 1-3-1 zone and got a little too overanxious at times.”
With Crete-Monee holding a 10-point lead with less than two minutes to play, Nelson scored consecutive buckets to ice the game.