Downers Grove South continues its winning ways

By Patrick Z. McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/11/2019 11:29 PM

A lyrical and explosive force met an immovable object.

Score one for the defense.

Downers Grove South guard Timmeon Gamble stripped a Willowbrook guard and fed Kamonte Brown-Poe for a spectacular layup that extinguished a Willowbrook comeback.

Gamble scored 16 points, hit three 3-pointers and added 5 assists and 2 steals as Downers Grove South pulled out the 66-60 victory Friday night in Villa Park.

Downers Grove South forward Justin Eagins shook off early foul trouble to convert five 3-pointers in scoring a team-high 19 points for the Mustangs (12-5, 5-1 West Suburban Gold).

Downers South won for the 11th time in its last 12 games since starting the year 1-4.

Gamble's steal and Brown-Poe's athletic finish extended The Mustangs' lead to 61-57 with 1:22 remaining. Stubblefield scored a game-high 29 points. His 3-pointer fueled a 13-4 Warriors' run that had pulled Willowbrook within 58-57 with 2:02 remaining.

"Tim is just absolutely a tough kid," Downers Grove South coach Kris Olson said. "He has been doing this the whole year."

The otherwise fantastic game was marred by a skirmish over a foul with 1.9 seconds remaining and the Mustangs up 66-57. Players had to be separated by the coaching staffs. The officials conferred for nearly 15 minutes before assessing two technical fouls against the Mustangs.

Downers Grove South seized momentum with a 17-1 third-quarter run that nullified a 7-point Willowbrook lead for a 40-31 advantage with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Eagins and Gamble both drilled 3-pointers during the run. Senior forward Wes Hooker threw down a monster dunk. He finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Brown-Poe added 9 points.

"We have been very effective at the defensive end, and that obviously creates runs," Olson said. "The team has really bought into a togetherness and what we are trying to do. Justin and Wes have been very good, and the rest of the players have played their parts and the whole team has really come together."

Everett Stubblefield III and junior guard Isaac Gaines willed the Warriors (9-7, 3-2) back into the game. Gaines played his best game of the year with consecutive steals that created fastbreak layups. He scored 10 points and added 4 steals and 3 assists.

Stubblefield proved again he is virtually uncontainable in the open floor. He scored 17 points in the second half on a dazzling array of pullup jumpers, drives and 3-pointers. He also got to the free-throw line in converting 8 of 10.

"Basketball is a game of runs, and we made ours to get back into the game," Stubblefield. "We didn't quit, and we showed a lot of heart to get back into the game. We almost came all the way back."

No other Warriors reached double figures.

"They had the big run in the third quarter where we had good looks and we were not knocking them down, and they took advantage of that," Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. "We dug ourselves a hole, but then we fought back and it went down to the wire and they just made a couple of more plays than we did."

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