Hustle still there for Willowbrook boys

Published: Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 9:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 4:33 p.m. CDT

VILLA PARK – Willowbrook’s boys basketball team has endured a tough season, but Tuesday’s game against Addison Trail showed the squad still has fight in it.

The Warriors threatened their District 88 rivals for much of the game, but ultimately fell 48-39.

“I like the way we played,” Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. “We won the rebounding battle. We won the turnover battle. It came down to the end of the game. We were unable to make any big shots down the stretch. The kids hustled hard.”

AT led 11-2 early, but was unable to put away the Warriors until time simply ran out on a possible comeback. A 3-pointer by Jake Burns got Willowbrook within 36-34 early in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers responded with a 7-0 run and the Warriors didn’t get any closer than six the rest of the way.

Burns scored 11 points off the bench to give Willowbrook a boost. Chris Poole led the team with 13 points. Junior Kyle Rushing had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“Kyle is coming into his own now,” Perkins said. “He’s been ultra aggressive. I would say he’s the one that’s really changing some things for us.”

The loss to Addison Trail was Willowbrook’s third loss in five days. The Warriors lost to Downers Grove South 71-43 on Feb. 14 and 69-53 to Leyden the next day.

The team’s last chance to win a conference game comes tonight against Proviso East, which already clinched at least a share of the West Suburban Gold title and can win the outright title with a victory. At 2-21 overall and 0-11 in the West Suburban Gold, the Warriors are hoping to salvage some positives from the season.

“I think we’re selling out,” Perkins said. “Guys are playing hard. This performance compared to the first time around we played [Addison Trail] is night and day. The effort was there. Defensively we were zoned in. It comes down to we weren’t able to go on any run towards the end.”

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