Blazers advanced to regional title game; Williams named all-conference.

By Mike Miazga

Correspondent

When it was all said and done, the Addison Trail boys basketball team had itself a successful 2016-2017 season.

The Blazers went 18-12 overall and advanced to a Class 4A regional-championship game. In the playoffs, Addison Trail defeated Waubonsie Valley 50-43, downed District 88 neighbor Willowbrook 81-67 and then lost 71-51 to Naperville North in the regional title game.

Addison Trail coach Brendan Lyons was pleased with how his team came away with a victory against Waubonsie Valley.

“We hung in there against Waubonsie Valley,” said Lyons. “It was not our best game. We didn’t shoot it well, but we played good enough defense to keep us in the game. We had the lead most of the game. It must have been nerves being the first round of the playoffs. We were able to get through it and get the win.”

Michael Williams led the Blazers with 13 points. Mike Pudlo had 11 points, while Breydon Hargrove and Bobby Daniels each had 10 points.

Addison Trail led Willowbrook 33-6 at one point in the regional semifinals.

“Against Willowbrook we played one of our better games of the year,” said Lyons. “We jumped out on them early and played well offensively. When they tried to get back into it with their pressure, we kept them at arm’s distance the rest of the way. In the first half we had a lot of energy and were active. We had built a big enough cushion to hang on against them.”

Williams had 26 points in the game, while Hargrove had 18 points. Jack Kalbas added 15 points. Colton Noel had 12 points in his first game back coming off an injury. Daniels added 10 points.

In the regional final, Addison Trial led 29-27 at halftime. “We had a bad third quarter,” said Lyons. “We got outscored 26-8 in the third quarter. They wore us down over the course of the game. They are big and strong and we gave up some second-chance points. We weren’t able to convert and they were able to capitalize. They are a good team, but that second half was one of our worst of the year.”

Noel and Hargrove each had 13 points, while Williams had 11 points.

Addison Trail was in search of its first regional title since 1980.

“It was a good year and a fun year,” said Lyons. “It would have been great to get that regional title, but to reach that point was impressive with pretty much every game being tough. Overall, I’m proud of the guys. It was definitely a good year.”

Addison Trail’s 18 wins were its most since 2001 (19 wins).

Williams was named to the all-West Suburban Conference Gold Division team.

“That’s great for Michael,” said Lyons. “He ended up our leading scorer and our second-leading rebounder. He did a variety of things for us on both ends. He grew up the last two years on varsity. He will play somewhere in college and will have a great career somewhere. He’s definitely on the upswing in terms of the development of his game.”

Addison Trail will graduate nine seniors from this year’s team. “The nine seniors we are losing accounted for 92 percent of our scoring,” said Lyons. “There will be a lot of open job opportunities next year.”

Lyons just completed his 10th year at the helm at Addison Trail.

 

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