By: Eric Van Dril | April 11, 2017
The Red-West’s list of accomplishments this past season is long and impressive. Its six teams won 108 total games, five regional titles and two state championships.
It was the deepest conference in Illinois.
But Westinghouse forward Dexter Reed and Orr seniors Alex Flute and Sam Williams all felt the same way on Saturday afternoon. They were eager to prove a point. They said they wanted to win the second of three CPLBCA all-star games — the one they all played in — in order to show that the West Side was the best side this season.
“We said we’re going to go out there, have fun and win,” Reed said, of his team’s mentality. “With us being from the Red-West, the best conference in the state, we wanted to prove it today.”
The North-West squad beat the South-Central 134-120 on April 8. It built a 17-point lead in the first half, but Vocational guard Marzell Tiffith (36 points, 9 rebounds) brought the South-Central back.
The North-West pulled away down the stretch of the second half, however.
It did so by playing Red-West basketball. The North-West attacked the glass, created second-chance opportunities, shared the ball and finished very well around the rim.
It also played very hard. That was especially true of Reed, North Lawndale forward Martrell Barnes, Williams and Marshall guard Jarvae Tate.
Reed, for example, grabbed nine offensive rebounds. Barnes (24 points, 12 rebounds) had five offensive rebounds. Williams (16 points) finished with four.
“In an all-star game, (Reed’s mentality was) mostly just have fun with my teammates,” said Reed, who finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds. “And make sure I do what I’m supposed to do — like (I did) during the season, as far as rebounding, hustling, steals, blocks, scoring when needed.”
The North-West’s six Red-West players all scored in double figures. Flute nailed six 3-pointers en route to 23 points. Tate had 15 points and seven rebounds. Marshall’s Westley Walker finished with 12 points.
The South-Central defeated the North-West by 10 points in the all-star game that followed the North-West’s victory, but Flute, Williams and Reed all felt the way they played had hammered home a point.
“The West Side is the best side,” Williams said.
Flute agreed, yet added that the relationship between the West Side and the South Side isn’t acrimonious.
“It’s still the same thing (in the all-star game vs. the season),” Flute said. “It’s still the West Side vs. the South Side. It’s like a bond now because everybody loves each other. Everybody wants to play against each other. Everybody likes the competition.”
Perspectives-MSA/Joslin’s Dre Lightfoot and Prosser’s Justin Slowikowski also reached double figures in the North-West’s victory.
Lightfoot, a guard, finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Slowikowski hit a trio of 3-pointers en route to 11 points.