Glenbard South played a good first half Friday night in Metro Suburban Blue action in Glen Ellyn. Wheaton Academy played a better second half.
Senior guard Jayston Williams scored 21 points and 6-4 junior Sebastian Pares scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half as the Warriors rallied from a 27-24 halftime deficit to whip the Raiders 61-47.
The win was the sixth in the last seven games for Wheaton Academy (15-6, 6-2), which stayed a game back of Riverside-Brookfield in the conference race.
"The last four or five games we've been getting a lot better, especially defensively," Wheaton Academy coach Steve Thonn said. "We're playing a lot better, a lot better pressure, helping out, that type of thing.
"We lost (6-4 senior forward) J.D. Gunn for this game (to injury), but the other guys are really stepping up and playing well," the coach added.
Williams missed his first 3-pointer and thought the back ailment that was plaguing him might be an issue throughout the entire game. But he canned his next two 3-pointers and began to feel much better.
"After I got the next two, that's when I started to get that peace of mind," he said. "In the first quarter I was like, 'Don't be hurt. Don't be hurt.' But after seeing the ball go to through the hoop, I was able to see it through the whole game."
Trailing 29-24 30 seconds into the second half, Wheaton Academy closed the third quarter on a 21-9 run. A three-point play by 6-4 sophomore Marcus Bult gave the Warriors the lead for good at 34-33.
Meanwhile, Glenbard South (9-13, 5-3), which controlled most of the first half and enjoyed leads of 14-9, 20-15 and 27-22, never found its offense in the second.
"We executed our offense pretty well and played pretty well defensively in the first half," Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke said. "In the second half we fell apart. We didn't have the same energy or enthusiasm on the defensive end, and we couldn't buy a bucket there in the third quarter."
Wheaton Academy led by as many as 16 points late in the fourth quarter before the teams cleared the benches with about a minute left. Bult added 9 points and Noah Starkey had 8 for the winners.
"We needed this one for conference reasons and for future playoff reasons," Williams said. "That's the reason why we came out after halftime hyped."
Brandon Whiteside led Glenbard South with 13 points.
"Right now, were just trying to gain some momentum," said Hardtke, whose team has lost three of four. "It seems like when we do play a good game, we can't string a couple of good games together. Unfortunately, we've been consistently inconsistent.
"Hopefully, we can get that turned around and string a couple of good wins together … even a couple of good efforts, just a couple good efforts going into the tournament at the end of the season," he added. "Who knows what can happen at that point?"