Williams plays key role in Glenbard West win
For as effective as Evan Taylor is on both ends of the floor for the Glenbard West boys basketball team, even he needs help.
That's where a guy like Corey Williams comes in.
Taylor had one of his best nights of the season on Friday in the Hilltoppers' 57-44 win over host Hinsdale Central, leading everyone with 26 points and 16 rebounds.
But guess who got the hypothetical game ball from Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder?
He scored 13 points, including three 3-point baskets, none bigger than a pair he hit in the third quarter that squashed a Hinsdale Central comeback bid. But more importantly, he was tasked with containing one of the Red Devils' top scorers, senior Matt Rush.
Rush finished with a quiet 8 points Friday -- just 2 points in each quarter and only 2 field goals.
"As good as Ev was, 26 and 16, I would give Corey the game ball," Hoder said. "We put him in charge of guarding Matt Rush and he did a really good job, and to knock down some 3s, that was the best game of the year for us, and we wouldn't have won without his efforts. I'm very, very proud of him."
Glenbard West (12-5, 2-3 West Suburban Silver) used a 10-1 run to start the game, and seemed to be in control 22-15 at the half. But the resilient Red Devils showed their mettle by cutting the lead to just 24-20 with 6:28 to go in the third quarter, thanks to a three-point play by senior Mac Quast.
No problem. Williams hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key at 5:42, and after a bucket by Hinsdale Central's Ryan Isaacson, Taylor hit a 3 from the same spot at 3:59. Thirty-one seconds later, it was Williams again burying a 3 from the left arc.
And that, as they say, was that. Glenbard West had a 9-point lead at the end of the period, and it hovered there until a 9-2 run in the fourth quarter sealed things up for the Hilltoppers. Included in that spurt: four straight free throws made by Williams.
"Corey did a really good job today," Taylor said of his teammate. "He did a really good job of guarding Matthew Rush and he did a great job hitting shots, and I know he can do it, because he's been doing it in practice."
Williams is a reserved sort of guy, and when asked about all those 3s he hit, he went back to the thing that matters most.
"I just thought as a team, we needed to play together a little more, so I think knocking down those shots, it brought us together more as a team," he said. "We played better defense after that, too."
Williams wasn't the only one who was effective. Caden Phillips scored 7 hard-earned points down low, and point guard Carter Lindstrom ran the offense to a T, which set up Taylor and Williams.
"It's a battle," Hoder said. "I'm really proud our kids because we knew this would be a tough game. (Hinsdale Central) plays hard defensively, they are very well-coached. They are way better than their record. We know it's going to be a battle every night."
Isaacson came off the bench to lead the Red Devils (4-11, 1-3) with 11 points, while sophomore Sam Hoiberg had 8 and led his team with 5 rebounds.