LAKE ZURICH – Willowbrook’s boys basketball team has found its game and extended its winning streak to eight games after a narrow 73-69 victory over Libertyville in the championship game of the MLK Lake Zurich tournament on Monday.
Noah Campbell scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the second half and Joey Tumilty also had a team-high 21 and dropped in five 3-pointers.
“(Libertyville) was a really good team and have been solid all year with a good record,” Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. “(Libertyville) causes a lot of matchup problems and a number of big things that they can throw at you. Our guys did a good job rising to the occasion and being able to slow those guys down. We were able to make enough plays.”
The Warriors (12-8) managed to stay ahead of Libertyville (15-6) in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats closed the lead down to two points. But Willowbrook answered with some key shots and free throws in the last couple of minutes.
“Being ahead allowed us to change our style,” Perkins said. “We just played more of a solid half-court defense, because we had the lead.”
Willowbrook won the tournament for the first time in its second appearance.
“Winning any tournament feels good,” Perkins said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
Campbell was one of the Warriors that gave a big lift in the second half with his scoring.
“I was just staying confident with my shots because the first half I had a slow start,” Campbell said. “I just kept shooting. We had to keep our composure at the end, because (Libertyville) was a great team and they pass the ball well. We just had good energy and stayed locked in on defense.”
Libertyville was led by Chase Bonder with a game-high 23 points, Will Buchert added 13 and Cole Bonder chipped in with 12.
“You have to give credit a team like (Willowbrook),” Libertyville coach Brian Zyrkowski said. “If you get beat, you get beat. You have to admit to that. We just got beat. We get down by two, we just couldn’t make those shots, then the next possession you need a stop. You just have to credit (Willowbrook’s) playmakers. Every time we clawed back in, they settled down and made a play. They finished at the rim. That’s how you finish games. Make your free throws and finish the ball at the rim. They just did both things.”