Hinsdale South beats Willowbrook
Billy Durkin has a lot on his plate these days.
Durkin, Hinsdale South's 6-foot-4 senior, is playing out of position at point guard for the first time. Besides ballhandling duties, he's one of four Hornets scoring in double figures.
On Saturday he even took a turn guarding Willowbrook star Everett Stubblefield III.
Durkin, though, is ready for that responsibility.
"I trained a lot in the off-season, got myself ready," Durkin said. "I did a lot of weight training. Last May I weighed 153 pounds and now I weigh 170. I knew if I wanted to contribute I had to get that weight up."
The Hornets are reaping the benefits.
Durkin scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, with a number of clutch plays. Hinsdale South answered a Willowbrook surge to a tie and remained unbeaten with a 65-54 West Suburban Gold win in Darien.
It's quite an early-season turnaround for Hinsdale South (7-0, 2-0). Durkin and Aaron Tims, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds, are third-year varsity guys and two of four senior starters back from last year's 14-16 team.
"It feels good, all of us coming together," Durkin said. "We had a ton of guys coming back, and everybody is doing their role. It's nice to have four seniors leading the team."
That senior leadership proved valuable.
Willowbrook (4-3, 1-1), which trailed 26-20 at half, dialed up its pressure defense in the third quarter, harassing Hinsdale South into eight of its 19 turnovers. Stubblefield, who scored a game-high 20 points, tied it 37-37 with just over two minutes left in the third. It all came with Hinsdale South's best defender, James Rusnicka, on the bench with three fouls.
"We had a disastrous start to the third quarter that if we weren't such a senior-led team it would have broke us," Hornets coach Brett Moore said.
Instead the Hornets answered with a 6-0 run to end the third quarter ahead 43-37 and the margin never again dipped below four.
Billy Durkin had a dunk off a Willowbrook turnover and fed Bobby Durkin for a dunk.
"Our coach got us together and said we have to take care of business now," Billy Durkin said. "We all came together and did what we had to do to get it under control to break the pressure."
The extra bulk helps the still wiry Durkin against Willowbrook's full court pressure.
"Guys can't just body me," said Durkin, who also grabbed five rebounds and went 6-for-6 at the free-throw line. "I feel like I have more control. I can do what it takes to get the win."
Tims, an athletic 6-foot-8 senior, got Hinsdale South started right. He scored six of his 15 in the first quarter, with two dunks. The first, Time drove through the Willowbrook defense and threw down a resounding jam.
"Sometimes he doesn't get the ball as much as he'd like because we're shooting it well," Moore said. "Tonight we didn't shoot it as well because they ran us off the 3-point line, but Aaron made them pay. That's the good thing. They don't care who it is who scores."
Indeed, Daeshawn Amy added 10 points and Bobby Durkin eight for Hinsdale South.
Stubblefield banked in a 3-pointer to get Willowbrook ahead 17-14 early in the second quarter but shot just 9-for-25, 1-for-6 in the third quarter.
Sam Tumilty added 12 points, but the Warriors were hammered 47-19 on the boards, which led to 11 second-chance points.
"The difference in today's game was the rebounding," Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. "Every time we made a run they were able to respond. There'a a reason why they're 7-0."