Junior guard Jack Williams scored a game-high 22 points, including four three-pointers in the first half, to help lead the Skyline boys’ basketball team to a convincing 64-47 win over Detroit Pershing on Saturday afternoon at Belleville High School. The Eagles, who had three players reach double figures, improve to 5-1 on the season with a big game coming up on Tuesday against city rival Pioneer.
“We’re gaining confidence as the year goes on,” said Skyline Coach Mike Lovelace. “We had been struggling with some of the pace of the game, but we got into rhythm and shared the ball really nice. It was a really good start defensively, and we were able to make some shots from there to build an early lead.”
The Eagles started the game on an 11-5 run which forced Pershing to call timeout with 4:42 left in the first quarter. Kabir Bergin, Skyline’s senior center, had four points in that span and helped the Eagles lead 24-11 after the first quarter. Williams had 13 points in the first quarter as he connected on three 3-pointers.
Williams, who also had five rebounds and two assists in the win, added another three points in the second quarter as Skyline pushed their lead to as much as 15 points. Chris Cayton hit Jermaine Davis with a behind-the-back pass to put the Eagles up 28-13 with 5:21 left in the first half before Matt Bartley made three consecutive 3-pointers for Pershing to cut into Skyline’s lead.
The Eagles still led 31-24 at halftime.
Despite Pershing ending the first half with momentum, Skyline was the team that came out on fire in the third quarter. They went on a 9-0 run to go up 48-29 and then Bergin knocked down a 3-pointer from Davis with 3 seconds left, putting Skyline up 56-33 with one quarter to play. Bergin had eight points in the third quarter.
Bartley added another 3-pointer in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep the Doughboys in the game. Skyline continued to create turnovers and get easy baskets at the rim. The Eagles took out their starters with about 3 minutes left in the game and finished with a 17-point win over Pershing.
Bergin finished with 15 points, including seven in the first quarter, Dinalli DeLoach had 10 points, Davis scored nine and Cayton finished with six.
Williams was the player who got the ball rolling for the Eagles.
“Jack is a great shooter,” Lovelace said. “Pretty much everybody knows about that, so now he’s trying to develop other parts of his game, trying to get to the basket and finish around the rim. (Saturday) was a big step for him on the varsity level as he was able to get out there and play really well against a good team.”
Lovelace is pleased with where his club is at this point in the season.
“We’ve made huge progress since June,” he said. “These guys are working on being great teammates and having the mental toughness that you need to be successful out here so I’m very pleased with the start we’ve had against high caliber opponents. We’ve been unselfish and guys are looking to create for their teammates.”
The Eagles play host to rival Pioneer on Tuesday in a boys-girls doubleheader. The girls tip off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys game.