In only his third game in a Belleville West uniform, senior Will Shumpert played the role of defensive stopper to perfection Friday at the Washington Tournament of Champions.
A 6-6 forward, Shumpert held Wichita State University recruit DeAntoni Gordon to 17 points and the Maroons received contributions from several players as they moved into the title game for the second straight year with a 77-49 win over the Mobile, Ala. LeFlore High School Rattlers.
Maroons senior EJ Liddell, averaging 31.5 points in his first two games, scored 29 and added eight rebounds to pace the Maroons which also got solid efforts from Jaylin Mosby, Keith Randolph and Lawrence Brazil III in the lopsided win.
But it was Shumpert who was the catalyst on the defensive end which sparked the Maroons (3-0).
“Will just did a great on Gordon all night long,’’ West coach Joe Muniz said. “He (Gordon) had 38 points and 19 rebounds in his last game with eight offensive rebounds.
“But tonight Will did a good job of making it uncomfortable for him (Gordon). He made it difficult for Gordon to get the ball where he could score.’’
The win moves the Maroons into the title game on Saturday beginning at 6:15 p.m. West will take on the Rayville,, La. High School Hornets. Rayville, ranked 30th in the nation, won the Louisiana state championship a year ago, finishing with a record of 35-0.
West, the defending Class 4A state champions, lost the title game in the Washington TOC a year ago to Houston, Tx. Math and Science 84-74.
But on Friday, Muniz and the Maroons took a few minutes to enjoy another impressive win.
“We played well,’’ Muniz said. “I thought Jaylin (Mosby), EJ (Liddell) and Keith (Randolph) all moved without the basketball very well and Lawrence (Brazil) did what all great point guards to. He did a great job of distributing the basketball..’’
Here are results from other Thanksgiving tournament games Friday.
At Metro East Lutheran
- Metro East Lutheran def. Lebanon 49-29
- Roxana def. Southwestern 47-40
- Dupo def. Wood River 51-43
- Marissa def. Valmeyer 55-25
- Gibault def. Gillespie 67-46
- Marquette def. Odin 57-26
- Metro East Lutheran def. Litchfield 67-49
At Lincoln-Land College
- East St. Louis 71, Springfield Lanphier 47
- Triad def. Nokomis 60-41
- New Athens def. Zeigler-Royalton 65-27
- Collinsville 63, Mount Vernon 32
- Mater Dei 75, Miller Academy 60
- Galesburg 68, Madison 58
- Highland 52, Unity 25
- Madison 74, Rockford Lutheran 60
- Central 73, Robinson 49
- Carbondale 64, Althoff 62