West Aurora tops Willowbrook for 8th straight win

 
 
Updated 1/27/2018 11:16 PM
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  • West Aurora's Traevon Brown (1) is double teamed by Willowbrook's Sikander Zafar (5) and Matas Masys (21) during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      West Aurora's Traevon Brown (1) is double teamed by Willowbrook's Sikander Zafar (5) and Matas Masys (21) during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • West Aurora's Camron Donatlan gathers a rebound against Willowbrook.

      West Aurora's Camron Donatlan gathers a rebound against Willowbrook. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Willowbrook's Matas Masys (21) battles for a loose ball with West Aurora's Jared Crutcher, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      Willowbrook's Matas Masys (21) battles for a loose ball with West Aurora's Jared Crutcher, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Willowbrook's Matthew Myers (20) drives to the basket against West Aurora's Damian Virgen, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      Willowbrook's Matthew Myers (20) drives to the basket against West Aurora's Damian Virgen, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Willowbrook's Ethan Chuemer, behind, battles for a loose ball with West Aurora's Damian Virgen, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      Willowbrook's Ethan Chuemer, behind, battles for a loose ball with West Aurora's Damian Virgen, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Willowbrook's Marshawn Phillips, left, drives to the basket against West Aurora's Jared Crutcher, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      Willowbrook's Marshawn Phillips, left, drives to the basket against West Aurora's Jared Crutcher, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Willowbrook's Sikander Zafar, left, battles for a loose ball with West Aurora's Jared Crutcher, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      Willowbrook's Sikander Zafar, left, battles for a loose ball with West Aurora's Jared Crutcher, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • West Aurora's Moshe Rogers, left, defends the lane against Willowbrook's Matthew Myers Saturday during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      West Aurora's Moshe Rogers, left, defends the lane against Willowbrook's Matthew Myers Saturday during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • West Aurora's Moshe Rogers, left, defends the lane against Willowbrook's Matthew Myers, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      West Aurora's Moshe Rogers, left, defends the lane against Willowbrook's Matthew Myers, right, during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Willowbrook's Ethan Chuemer jams the ball against West Aurora during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School.

      Willowbrook's Ethan Chuemer jams the ball against West Aurora during the 25th annual Jim & Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops boys basketball game at Batavia High School. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Willowbrook boys basketball coach Chris Perkins acknowledged his players were leg weary in the second half of Saturday's 78-66 loss to West Aurora at Batavia's Night of Hoops.

He also acknowledged his team would have had trouble dealing with West Aurora seniors Jared Crutcher and Camron Donatlan even if the Warriors hadn't played an emotional, televised conference game against Proviso East less than 24 hours earlier and 14-win Larkin three days before that.

Crutcher, a 6-foot-5 forward committed to Loras College, finished with 27 points, one shy of his career high, and grabbed 16 rebounds.

Donatlan, a 6-3 guard committed to Wyoming for football and track, finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists as West Aurora (16-4), the top-ranked team in the Daily Herald Top 20, extended its winning streak to eight.

"This was a difficult week for us and I feel we kind of ran out of gas there at the end, but that wasn't the reason we lost," said Perkins, whose third-ranked team slipped to 18-4. "I mean, they're really good. They're really good. The one-two punch with (Donatlan) and (Crutcher), that was a lot to overcome. They were active, they were aggressive and defensively they took us out of some of the things that we were trying to do offensively with their length and their size."

West Aurora, which blew out Glenbard East by 36 a night earlier, led 38-33 at the half and opened the third quarter with a 15-1 run to gain separation.

Crutcher ignited the push with a putback and an inside bucket on a feed from Donatlan, and Donatlan capped it with a pair of fast-break buckets. His breakaway dunk off a Willowbrook turnover gave the Blackhawks their biggest lead at 53-34 with 3:17 left in the third quarter.

"Both of them are playing at a really high level," West Aurora coach Brian Johnson said.

Willowbrook fought its way back into the game with a 15-4 run. It began with a late-third-quarter putback from 6-foot-6 senior Ethan Schuemer, who finished with 15 points and 4 rebounds going head to head against Crutcher, who plays for the same AAU organization.

The Warriors drew within 70-63 on a 3-pointer by sophomore call-up Everett Stubblefield with 4:31 left in the game. He scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter.

"They just kept trapping us and forcing us to get in the corners," Crutcher said. "That's where most of our turnovers happened. Coach was telling us to stay out of it and work the ball around and play comfortable."

The Blackhawks answered with a 6-0 run to rebuild the lead to 13. It included a pair of Moshe Rogers free throws, a second-chance jumpshot by point guard Trae Brown and a basket in the lane from senior guard Damian Virgen, who finished with 14 points.

Second-chance points heavily favored the Blackhawks, thanks to a 42-17 rebounding advantage. That offset West Aurora's 24 turnovers.

"We still forced them to commit 24 turnovers, so we were right there," Perkins said. "We just didn't have the legs to convert at the other end after a week like this. But we went 2-1 against three really good teams so overall we're pleased."

Junior guard Matas Masys scored 15 points for Willowbrook, which had its 8-game winning streak snapped.

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