Boys Basketball: Joliet West ‘out-toughs’ Bolingbrook for winBolingbrook's #15 Josh Little drives to the basket in front of Joliet West #32 Brian Edwards held at home and West won 61-59 on Friday, January 13, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 13, 2012 10:07PM
When the chips were down Friday night in Joliet West’s 61-59 SouthWest Suburban Blue win over Bolingbrook, Raiders coach Rob Brost said, “They out-toughed us.”
Especially Brandon McCullum. The 6-foot-2 senior forward, although dazed by the flying elbow he caught in the third quarter, provided the board work, defense and clutch free throw shooting to lift the Tigers (10-4, 4-1) to the key victory.
“All Coach (Luke Yaklich) was saying at practice was box out on the boards, play defense and we’ll win this game,” said McCullum. who in the second half had six of his team-high nine rebounds and his only points on 3-of-4 free throws.
“It was a good team effort, and “B. Mack” is a guy who brings the energy,” Yaklich said. “He’s always around the ball and his body is always working.”
Center Marlon Johnson’s 15th and final point, a free throw with 8.1 seconds, gave West a four-point lead and provided the clincher. Long-range marksman Ryan Modiest nailed four three-pointers and scored 13. “Ryan stretches defenses and in scramble situations, if you leave him alone, you are asking for a dagger,” Yaklich said.
Morris Dunningan, who did not play until the 6:03 mark of the second quarter because of violation of team rules, and Carl Terrell added nine points each and Brian Edwards eight in a foul-plagued game where the Tigers benefitted from their deep bench and a couple of huge rebounds on their own missed free throws.
“The nice thing is we seem to be rounding into the team we thought we could become,” Yaklich said.
West’s 12-0 run provided a 52-38 lead early in the fourth quarter. But Alec Boyd (17 points, 14 in the second half) led a 12-0 run as Bolingbrook (8-6, 3-2) got back within 52-50 and stayed close the rest of the way.
“We’re disappointed we couldn’t finish at the end,” Brost said. “We played well enough to win but didn’t execute at the end. They deserved to win and we didn’t.”