Boys Basketball: Marist’s Lexus Williams leads the charge vs St RitaLexus Williams, of Marist, goes up for two against St. Rita at St. Rita High School, Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 in Chicago, IL. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 6, 2011 9:48PM
When Marist needed a big shot made Tuesday against No. 5 St. Rita, Lexus Williams answered the call.
The junior poured in a team-high 25 points, 10 of which occurred in a nail-biting fourth quarter, to lead No. 24 Marist to a 74-71 victory against host St. Rita in the Jack Callahan Memorial Game.
Williams was 8 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 4 from the three-point stripe, and converted 6 of 8 free throws.
He was awarded the Jim Griffin Most Valuable Player Award.
“It means a lot to me, but I didn’t win this by myself,” Williams said.
No he didn’t.
Sophomore Nic Weishar was a force inside for the RedHawks (5-0), registering 23 points, 16 of which came in the first-half.
Junior L.J. McIntosh added 11 points to Marist’s cause.
“I’m really proud of our kids,” Marist coach Gene Nolan said. “They played hard and they gave a tremendous effort.”
With the exception of a 10-5 run to start the game, St. Rita played catch-up most of the night. The Redhawks reeled off a 15-2 that gave them a 23-15 lead at one point.
A trey by Williams late in the second quarter extended Marist’s lead to 32-22.
St. Rita, however, never relented. The Mustangs effort was rewarded when Tony Hicks, who led all scorers with 26 points, turned a steal into a layup and 39-38 lead.
Moments later, Victor Law (17 points) brought the Mustang crowd to its feet with a rejection of a Weishar shot attempt.
St. Rita appeared to have the momentum.
But Marist would eventually turn the tides and take a 68-57 lead on a McIntosh tip-in with 2:22 to go.
St. Rita had one last comeback in it, closing to within 71-70 with 15 seconds to go. Freshman Charles Matthews stepped up big-time in the second-half, scoring 15 of his 16 points.
Williams, however, buried two free throws and Morty Berglind one for a 74-71 lead. A game-tying three by Hicks at the buzzer was short.