High School Sports

Unstoppable Liddell leads Belleville West in opening round of Washington Tournament

Belleville West senior EJ Liddell goes up for a dunk during the first official day of basketball practice.  The Maroons are ranked 18th in the MaxPreps preseason national boys basketball poll and 32nd in the Prep Circuit.com poll.
Belleville West senior EJ Liddell goes up for a dunk during the first official day of basketball practice. The Maroons are ranked 18th in the MaxPreps preseason national boys basketball poll and 32nd in the Prep Circuit.com poll. dholtmann@bnd.com

The reigning Illinois’ Mr. Basketball, EJ Liddell didn’t miss a beat Tuesday as Belleville West opened play at the Washington Tournament of Champions.

Picking up where he left off a year ago when he helped lead West to the Class 4A state title, Liddell recorded a double-double with 39 points and 12 rebounds as the Maroons soared past the Urbana Tigers 81-57 at Washington High School.

Liddell, who officially signed his national letter of intent to Ohio State University on Monday, added six blocked shots in the victory.

West won’t have much time to enjoy its first win of the season. The Maroons (1-0) face Lakewood, South Carolina at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday. The Maroons then close out play in their four-team pool on Friday against Mobile (Ala.) Le Flore High School at 6:15 p.m.

The tournament concludes on Saturday. The Maroons placed second in the tournament a year ago.

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