Griffin's 39 points enough to knock off Willowbrook

  • Willowbrook's Matas Masys battles for a loose ball with Hinsdale South's Robert Barnes in the first half of boys varsity basketball at Hinsdale on Friday. Procession went to Barnes.

      Willowbrook's Matas Masys battles for a loose ball with Hinsdale South's Robert Barnes in the first half of boys varsity basketball at Hinsdale on Friday. Procession went to Barnes. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/2/2018 10:05 PM

Zion Griffin scored his 39th point midway through the fourth quarter.

And there he sat. Every time he touched the ball the rest of the game, scattered voices yelled "40" from the stands.

 

He never got there, but it was still a milestone night for Hinsdale South's powerful 6-foot-6 senior forward.

Griffin finished with 39 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Hornets to Friday's 69-63 West Suburban Gold victory over Willowbrook in Darien.

Even though Griffin, committed to Iowa State, never before scored 40 points, all he was thinking about was a victory that pushed Hinsdale South (16-5, 6-2) a key step closer to a Gold title.

"I didn't really care about the points, I just wanted to get the win," Griffin said. "I should have given the fans 40, but I wanted to do whatever it took to win. So I just closed it out with 39."

Griffin was terrific the entire game but especially in the middle quarters while scoring 25 points and pushing the Hornets to a double-digit lead over the Warriors (19-5, 6-3), who beat Hinsdale South in the first round of Gold play.

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It was an off night for many members of a Warriors team that looked sluggish after three hard-fought games last week. They made one final run midway through the fourth quarter but couldn't get closer than 8 points away.

"We didn't play with our normal energy, it looked like," said Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins. "I think last week is kind of catching up to us. We looked fatigued."

Robert Barnes scored 11 points and Ramon Norman had 10 points off the bench for Hinsdale South. Marshawn Phillips led Willowbrook with 15 points off the bench for Willowbrook.

Neil Paxton Jr. had 12 points and Matas Masys 10 points for the Warriors.

"Zion's phenomenal," said Hinsdale South coach Brett Moore. "It was a pretty dominating 39 points. Some really tough shots, some 3s. He's such a hard matchup."

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