Stubblefield scores 31 in Willowbrook loss to Proviso East
Willowbrook senior Everett Stubblefield III is rapidly shaping up to be a full-time basketball player in the near future.
Stubblefield established himself as a standout wide receiver in football with next-level potential, capping off his final season with 58 receptions for 1,1145 yards and 13 touchdowns this fall to be named co-offensive player of the year in the West Suburban Gold.
But Stubblefield is making waves on the basketball court this winter, earning scholarship offers from three schools. Stubblefield admitted he's not sure which sport he will play in college, but he's managed to put up eye-popping numbers with limited preparation for the basketball season due to Willowbrook's run to the Class 7A quarterfinals.
"It's a transition, from football to basketball," he said. "It's kind of tough, but once I get into a rhythm and put in the work, it become easier. I came in a couple of times during football season and put in some shots, but once the football season was over, we had a game the next day. It was kind of rough the first week of basketball, but once we started getting in some practices together, I got better and started hitting some shots."
Stubblefield put on another memorable display on the court Wednesday night, scoring a game-high 31 points in an 81-72 loss to Proviso East in WSC Gold action.
Sam Tumilty finished with 14 points and 7 assists, and sophomore Sean Paige added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Proviso East freshman Jaloni Johnson scored a team-high 19 points, while Terrence Thomas scored 8 of his 16 points in the final 3:30 of regulation.
The 5-foot-10 Stubblefield had another sizzling show from beyond the arc, connecting on 6 of 9 3-pointers, including two long-range shots, to nearly lead the Warriors (8-14, 2-4) to a victory.
Proviso East (11-6, 4-2) outscored the Warriors 23-13 in the second quarter and relied on a late third-quarter run to pull away. Willowbrook shot 10 for 20 from the free-throw line and committed 20 turnovers, while the Pirates had a decided advantage in bench scoring (28-8).
"Toward the fourth quarter, they went on a little run because we made some turnovers and they scored some quick baskets and we couldn't bounce back from being behind," Stubblefield said.
Even though Stubblefield's work is limited on the court due to his football obligations, Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said he's become accustomed to watching Stubblefield adapt quickly to the change of sports. Stubblefield admitted he's "leaning more toward basketball" in college.
"He's a great athlete," Perkins said. "He's a big-time game player. He's had some very explosive games and sets the tone."
Stubblefield hit two early second quarter 3-pointers to give the Warriors a 28-15 lead before the Pirates answered with a 17-3 run to seize a 32-31 lead. The Pirates blitzed the Warriors with their transition offense in the second half, converting numerous fast break baskets.
Willowbrook sophomore guard Cory Baker had a breakout game, scoring five pivotal points in a two-possession span late in the fourth quarter to finish with eight points.
"Cory has been having a great year for us on the sophomore level and deserved to come up," Perkins said. "He's ready to play at this level, and came out tonight and competed. He made some positive plays for us. We just ran out of gas. Proviso East is a team that makes you pay for turning over the ball."