CRETE | One day after choosing to continue his football career at the University of Mississippi, Laquon Treadwell believed the pressure was finally lifting from his shoulders.
Crete-Monee sophomore Tyler Williams made sure to speed up the process.
With Treadwell finally able to shift his focus completely on basketball, he and Williams teamed up for 37 points and 15 rebounds as the Warriors held off a resilient Rich South squad in a 63-57 Southland Athletic Conference victory Friday.
“Tyler just made it so much easier for me tonight, I give a lot of credit to him,” Treadwell said of Williams, who scored a game high 19 points, a career high. “I got hot to open the game, but I wanted to get my teammates involved, and Tyler was one of those guys who stepped up tonight and really came through.”
Williams found his groove in the second half for Crete-Monee (14-4, 2-3), shooting 5-of-6 from the floor, to finish with 12 points over the final 16 minutes to help stave off the pesky Stars.
Rich South (7-10, 2-3) jumped out to a 6-0 lead to open the contest, but a 12-5 Crete-Monee run, sparked by two 3-pointers from Treadwell, got the Warriors going.
Crete-Monee led 12-11 after the first-quarter. Rich South managed to stick around, and grabbed a one-point halftime lead thanks to unselfish play. Five different Stars found the basket in the second frame, and Rich South enjoyed a 24-23 cushion at the break.
“This is a trend for us, we play well, but then teams go on runs and we get in trouble,” said Rich South coach Scott Ritte. “That was pretty much the story tonight. We made bad decisions on several possessions, and Crete-Monee went on some runs.”
The Warriors opened the second half with a 9-0 spurt for a 32-24 lead, aided by four points from Williams, and Treadwell added eight points after a scoreless second period as Crete-Monee earned its first double-digit lead of the game at 46-35 heading into the final quarter.
But Rich South wasn’t finished.
“Rich South came at us in spurts,” Crete-Monee coach Tom Cappel said. “We’d get ahead, but then we’d let them inch back. But in a conference game like this, we expect them to be tough, and they were.”
Less than a minute into the fourth frame, Williams nailed a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 12, but Rich South responded. Myles McCoy sank a jumper to start a 9-0 Stars push that didn’t end until Williams banked a jumper with 4:12 to play. Rich South was unable to come any closer than five down the rest of the way.
“I felt like we just kept up the pressure on them,” Williams said. “We all took good shots tonight, and our defense locked them down when we had to. It was a good win.”
Mark Conner finished with 16 points for Crete-Monee, including 11 in the second half. Treadwell and Williams had eight and seven rebounds, respectively. Strickland led Rich South with 17 points.