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On the strength of another solid game from senior Arie Williams, Elgin came away with a 64-45 victory over Grayslake Central at the Bison Classic Friday night in Buffalo Grove.
Williams scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting, continuing to carry the Maroons offensively with an average of 26.7 points-per-game through their first three contests.
“I just want to be a playmaker for my team, so anything my team needs I’m ready to do it,” said Williams. “We got everybody involved, and that’s what it takes to win a game.”
The Maroons (2-1) certainly needed Williams to be a playmaker in the first quarter, as the rest of the team went 0-for-7 from the field. And he managed to keep them in it, shooting 5-of-5 and tallying all 14 of the team’s points, matching the Rams’ (1-3) offensive output for the quarter.
“Arie scored for us early, and more importantly every shot was a good shot and every shot was a good decision,” said Elgin coach Mike Sitter. “He’s not going to be a shooting guard at the next level, and sometimes he comes out and plays like one for us, but tonight he looked like a point guard.
From there, the Maroons were able to open up an eight-point halftime lead thanks in part to Isaiah Butler, who once again provided a spark off the bench with eight second quarter points.
Butler has thrived offensively in the sixth man role thus far, as he finished the game with 15 points and is averaging 13.7 per game on the young season.
“You can see it in flashes with Isaiah, he needs to have a more well-rounded game, but he can definitely put the ball in the bucket,” said Sitter.
The Rams kept it close in the second half, as the Maroons carried that same eight-point lead into the fourth quarter. Senior Danny Reed tallied eight of his team-high 13 points in the third quarter, including a pair of threes.
However, the Maroons cranked up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and were able to put the game away, as they held the Rams to 1-of-9 shooting and forced eight turnovers.
“We set a very high bar for ourselves those first two games with our defensive intensity,” said Sitter. “Tonight, we tried to let the game come to us and we weren’t the initiators of the aggressiveness for most of the game, and I think that’s why they were able to stick around so long.”
Eric Sedlack added eight points, all in the third quarter, for the Maroons, while Malik Parham-Dunner chipped in seven points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Kevin Orozco joined Reed in double-figures with 10 points for the Rams, and Jacob Vargo added nine.