Willowbrook gets into rhythm vs. Downers South
After another extended playoff run in football that crept into the basketball season, Willowbrook senior Sam Tumilty required some extra to get his rhythm back on the hardwood.
Tumilty, a star quarterback on the football team, showcased his basketball skills in Friday's must-win West Suburban Gold game against Downers Grove South.
Tumilty racked up 15 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals to spark the Warriors to a 67-57 victory over the Mustangs.
Everett Stubblefield III added 16 points and 7 rebounds, DeAndre Holliday finished with 10 points and Sean Paige tallied 8 for the Warriors (7-12, 2-3), who need to get on a run to catch conference leader Hinsdale South.
Angelo Ognianov led the Mustangs with 14 points.
"Sam has been more aggressive the past several games and his shot has been more fluid," Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. "He's more into basketball shape and that's giving us a big boost, giving us that second dynamic scorer with Stubblefield and setting the tone for the rest of the guys to follow.
"Sam's 3-pointer is dropping more lately, and his energy at the top of our press is helping us. He's an all-state athlete and he's used to these big games."
Tumilty had a strong start, hitting a late second-quarter 3-pointer for 11 first-half points. He showed off his acceleration by driving through the Mustangs' defense on several possessions, and hitting a few key jumpers that spaced the court.
"I think I'm definitely getting into basketball shape," Tumilty said. "Football shape is different. I'm definitely more confident now, finding my offensive rhythm. We've also getting our team chemistry and trusting each other and playing fast and aggressive on defense."
Lukian Kling sparked the Mustangs (4-14, 2-4) in the opening minutes, blocking two shots and tallying two rebounds in less than 90 seconds. He had 8 points in the opening quarter, but Willowbrook's strong guard group of Stubblefield, Tumilty, Holliday, Isaac Gaines and Brenton Jones sped the pace up and helped force 24 turnovers.
"Their pressure really got to us," Downers Grove North coach Kris Olson said. "We gave them a lot of extra possessions. We had a lot of turnovers, but credit their defense."
The Mustangs mounted an early fourth-quarter comeback, cutting the deficit to 58-54 with just over two minutes left. Stubblefield answered with a layup and Holliday hit two free throws to ice the win.
"We're definitely excited and have a few big games ahead of us," Tumilty said. "Our record doesn't show how good we really are, but come playoff time I think we can make a run."