Boys Basketball: Bolingbrook runs away from Lincoln-Way East in second half

Freshman sensation Davion Thompson scores 30 for Raiders

Bolingbrook's Davion Thompson

BOLINGBROOK – It’s not supposed to look this easy for a freshman to adapt to varsity high school basketball.

But with each game Bolingbrook’s freshman sensation is putting that maxim to a serious test.

Davion Thompson led all scorers with 30 points and fueled the Raiders second half run as Bolingbrook broke open a close game and rolled to a 68-49 victory over Lincoln-Way East.

“My dad always tells me you never know who might be watching so you’ve got to stay composed no matter what,” Thompson said. “You can’t get too high and you can’t get too low.”

The Raiders (21-4, 5-1 SouthWest Suburban Blue) needed that even keel performance from Thompson to fuel his team’s efforts in fending off the Griffins (15-10, 2-5), who were right in the thick of things midway through the third quarter and led 38-36 after a Brenden Sanders basket.

But Bolingbrook scored the last 11 points of the third quarter, capped by a Thompson dunk that just beat the buzzer. Four different Raiders scored during that stretch, and it showed exactly what Bolingbrook is capable of when things are firing on all cylinders.

“We started defending a little bit better the second half and then you know, we wanted to take the ball out of BJ’s (B.J. Powell) hands as much as possible,” Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. “And we did that in the third quarter very well. And once we get ahead, it’s hard to defend us when we’re very unselfish and share – all of those things.”

Brent Taylor opened the fourth quarter with a basket to trim the Bolingbrook lead to seven, but a six-point mini-run from J.T. Pettigrew (16 points) and Thompson pushed the lead to double digits and Lincoln-Way East didn’t threaten again.

The second half runaway was also fueled by a bit of a tempo change, not surprisingly helped along by the veteran-like decision making skills of Thompson. Thompson made seven field goals in the first half, including three 3-pointers, but he shifted gears after the break, attacking the basket and drawing fouls with regularity and then draining seven of his eight free throw attempts.

Although it seems like Thompson is doing things out of instinct, he said his constant study of the game is helping him formulate the right attack plan on the spot.

“Being a student of the game, that’s really helping me mature as a player,” Thompson said. “And that’s just what I’m trying to get better at because it will help me in the long run.”

It also gives him the confidence to change his approach if things warrant it, as it did Tuesday.

“I always try to get the other team’s best players in foul trouble because they’ve got to go to the bench,” Thompson said. “And at five fouls you get two free throws, so I’m always aware of that.”

Brost is beginning to run out of superlatives to describe his freshman standout.

“He can do a lot of things at a really high level,” Brost said. “And I’m just proud of him. And not so much for the basketball piece. That’s part of it, but just how he handles himself. His attitude is always good. He’s smiling and happy. He’s becoming a leader. And when you start doing those things, you become and even better player.”

Lincoln-Way East, which pushed top-ranked Homewood-Flossmoor into overtime Friday night, dropped its fifth consecutive game. Powell led the Griffins with 15 points and Taylor added 10.