Williams leads Wheaton Academy past Aurora Central Catholic
For the first time since freshman year, senior Jayston Williams is playing basketball for Wheaton Academy.
"Honestly, it's been so good," said Williams, who transferred back after two years at Montini. "I don't want to use the cliché saying that it's a blessing, but I can't describe it any other way, just the way they brought me back in and to be around with like-minded people that are all for Jesus Christ."
On Tuesday Williams fit right in during a tremendous first half that carried the Warriors to a 73-50 victory over Aurora Central Catholic in Metro Suburban Blue action in West Chicago.
Williams had 23 points and two 3-pointers for the Warriors (10-3, 2-1) with 18 during the first half.
The Warriors had a 49-27 halftime advantage after making 19 of 32 shots, including 6 for 12 from 3-point range, with 11 assists. Seniors Stephen Garrison and J.D. Gunn also had 13 and 11 points, respectively, en route to finishing with 17 and 14.
"This was a great (team) performance. We really focused on pushing the ball," Williams said. "My teammates really did a nice job of finding me, especially on the fast break, so I really credit this to my teammates."
Wheaton Academy coach Steve Thonn agreed this was probably his team's best half of the season. The season-high scoring total helped to erase the disappointment of Saturday's 58-43 loss at St. Francis.
"We kind of challenged the guys to have a good half," Thonn said. "We came out, pushed the ball. We knew they were going to trap us a lot. We wanted to make good decisions, send it to the middle and attack the basket and I think the guys did a great job."
Gunn had two 3s and 6 rebounds in the first half. Garrison engineered much of the offense by posting high in the lane and either attacking, passing to a driving teammate or kicking the ball back out to the perimeter. Sophomore Marcus Bult had the other 7 first-half points.
"We really tried to get the ball moving, get some fakes, just really be aggressive on offense. I just kept looking for my teammates, finding their spots," Garrison said.
"We were really patient on offense. The first half we really didn't commit as many turnovers as we usually do. It was just a really good overall offensive performance for us."
As freshmen, Williams and Garrison were teammates on the sophomore and varsity teams.
"Chemistry-wise, I'm pretty familiar with his style so it's been great playing with him," Garrison said. "He's really a valuable asset. He can shoot the 3. He can create on offense. He's a great piece for us."
"(The team) really brought me in, accepted me early," Williams added. "They wanted to integrate me into their offense as well as defense, really wanted me to feel like I was a part of them, that I never left."
For the Chargers (3-4, 2-2), this was a game they hope to soon forget. ACC coach Nathan Drye said he was most disappointed by 12 first-half turnovers that accompanied 10-for-30 shooting.
Senior Kyle Czerak had 13 points and two of ACC's seven 3s before fouling out in the third quarter. Junior Cameron Kalmas had 12 points and 2 threes.
"We turned the ball over and we did not run good offense. We were impatient, took stupid shots and forced it instead of working the ball," Drye said. "They obviously have a tremendous size advantage and then (Williams), he's obviously a big addition for them. It was a tough load to handle."