Williams the key to Bloom’s victory
Junior guard Keshawn Williams wasn’t necessarily supposed to be the main option Friday on what turned into the game-winning play for Bloom.
A lot morewas drawn up. But Williams didn’t follow the script.
“The play we were supposed to run wasn’t there,” Williams said.
“I saw an opening, so I just took it,” he said. “I usually do it a lot. I’m used to it.”
Williams negotiated the entire right side of the lane before softly banking the ball off the backboard with 2:28 remaining in overtime.
It would prove to be the last two points in Bloom’s 60-58 victory over Homewood-Flossmoorin the championshipgame of the ChicagoHeights Classic.
Williams finished with a team-high 22 points for Bloom (4-0). DonovanNewby added 16 points, while Emani Burgess contributed five rebounds.
Senior guard/forward Isaac Stanback led H-F (3-1) with 26 points and 13 rebounds. RJ Ogom added 14 points.
“It means a lot to win this,” Williams said. “We haven’t won this championship in a long time.”
In 2011, Bloom also defeated H-F in the title game with a 70-65 decision in doubleOT.
WhileWilliams was the hero this time, Newby was one of the big reasons Bloom took the game intoOT.
The junior guard rallied the Blazing Trojans during the fourth quarter with three 3pointers. Two were back-toback near midcourt from well behind the 3-point line.
After the second shot swished, Newby put his hands together and smiled as he went back on defense.
“Iwasworking onmy shot all summer,” Newby said. “I was kind of disappointed earlier. I missed a couple, but my teammates had my back. They told me to keep on shooting.
“That’s what I did. I foundmy rhythm and just kept shooting and knocking them down.”
In all, the Blazing Trojans connected on eight 3-pointers. They didn’t do much penetrating against H-F’s zone defense.
Williams, who also hit two 3-pointers, was an exception when it counted the most.
“He had a big basket and a big game,” Bloom coach Dante Maddox Sr. said ofWilliams. “In the first half, when we couldn’t get a basket, hewas the only one playing.
“This game was an anomaly. It wasn’t the norm. Two of our four leaders just didn’t have it. But Keshawn had some big baskets and Donovan had some big baskets.”
H-F had opportunities to win the game at the free-throw line, but missed three of four shots in
the final 20 seconds of OT. The Vikings also missed back-to-back 3pointers at the end ofOT.
But the free throws were the biggestproblem. The Vikings shot 18for-35 at the line.
“It’s been contagious all week,” H-F coach Marc Condotti said. “We haven’t had a night where we shot better than 50 or 60 percent. Obviously it came back and got us this time.”
Marian Catholic 73, Hillcrest 67: Ahron Uhlis scored 21 points forMari-
an (3-1) in the third-place game and Elijah Jones added 16. Dylan West scored 21 points for HIllcrest (2-2).
Thornwood 73, Rich
Central 68: Christian Simmons scored 20 points for Thornwood (2-2) in the fifth-place game. Zachary Carr added 17 points and Jeremiah Tarver had 16.
T. F. South 58, Voca
tional 49: Elijah Stewart scored 20 points for T.F. South (1-3) in the seventh-place game.
Bloom Township’s Keshawn Williams lays in a basket Friday against Homewood-Flossmoor in the final of the Chicago Heights Classic.