(Sugar Grove, IL) – Waubonsee Community College men's basketball team pulled away in the second half and held off the North Central College Junior Varsity to grab an 84-77 victory. The win pushes the Chiefs' record to 9-4 overall with a pair of games left before the holiday break.
Both teams came out firing as they traded three pointers on several occasions in the initial five minutes of play. A long trey by Cam Irvin, a 15-foot jumper by Courtney Fields and a three-pointer from the right corner by Asa Williams in quick succession put the Chiefs in front 18-15 eight minutes into the contest. A few minutes later another triple by Williams tied the game at 26-all with seven minutes to go until halftime. The Cardinals continued to successfully fire away from long range until the Chiefs took the lead 38-37 on a two-handed dunk by Fields and a fast break lay-in by Williams with three minutes to go in the period. Moments later Williams got a steal and break away one-handed slam to put the Chiefs up three. The teams headed to the locker room with Waubonsee holding a slim 40-39 lead. The Cardinals finished the half with nine three-point baskets to seven for the Chiefs.
The second half started with another three, this time by Waubonsee's D.J. Ellis deep in the left corner. The Chiefs took their biggest lead at 52-45 five minutes into the second half when Simeon Strauss converted a three-point play off a nice assist from Williams. The Cardinals responded with an 8-0 run to regain the lead 53-52. A steal and lay-in by Irvin, and another steal and a pair of free throws by Marlon Anderson a moment later gave the Chiefs a 56-52 lead and some momentum with 12 minutes remaining. After a North Central timeout Waubonsee went on a 10-3 run highlighted by a three-point play by Irvin. Back-to-back three-pointers by Cory Adams Jr. pushed the Chiefs' lead to 16 at 74-58 with eight minutes to go and the Cardinals again called timeout in an attempt to slow down the Chiefs. North Central chipped away and pulled to within seven at 80-73 with a minute left, but that's as close as the Cardinals would get.
Williams led the Chiefs with 17 points, 15 of them coming in the first half. Ellis almost posted a triple-double, scoring 13 points, handing out 10 assists and snagging nine rebounds. Irvin finished with 12 points, three assists and three steals, while Adams and Anderson each tallied 11 points, and Caleb Siler hauled down seven boards. Waubonsee's bench out scored North Central's 36-11 for the game, and also enjoyed a 13-5 advantage from the foul line. Meanwhile the Cardinals made just 3 of 14 (21 percent) from long range in the second half. North Central's Maliq Anderson led all scorers with 27 points to go along with eight rebounds.
The Chiefs are in action again on Tuesday, December 17 when they host Olive-Harvey College from Chicago. The Chiefs and Panthers are set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. in Erickson Hall. Coach Jim Williams' women's team will square off against the Panthers at 5:00 p.m. that evening.