Southfield-Lathrup boys basketball starting to see gains
Published February 6, 2013
LATHRUP VILLAGE — Southfield-Lathrup senior Jonathan Williams admits it was tough sitting out most of the first half with foul trouble against Troy High Feb. 1 at home.
“I was real frustrated at the time, but my dad (assistant coach Jonathan Williams) came over and talked to me, and told me that I just had to go out there and play, and hold my head high,” Williams said.
Williams made up for lost time, leading the team to a 76-74 victory.
He finished with a game-high 25 points, scoring the Chargers’ final 12 — 18 total in the fourth quarter.
His last bucket was a game-winning, pull-up jumper with less than a second remaining.
“I’ve been working hard this week on those shots, and it paid off today,” he said.
The win moved Lathrup to 6-9 overall and 3-3 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.
The Chargers have been hot, as of late, winning three of their last four games.
“We’re turning the corner rapidly,” coach Desmond Denham said. “We still have some things we have to fix, but sooner or later, it’s going to come together, and we’re going to be tough to beat.”
Denham is in his first season with Lathrup and inherited a team with Williams as the only returning player with varsity experience.
Williams said the squad’s will to win has been the biggest factor in its improvement.
“We knew we could play the whole season, but we used to have a lack of mental focus at practice, and that carried over into games,” he said. “We’re getting better, and our coach is pushing us harder every day. I think we’re peaking at the right time.”
“I knew they had to get used to me and how I want them to play,” Denham added. “They believe in me more now. They trust me. That’s what’s making us grow right now.”
Williams, who has committed to the University of Toledo, said this season has also helped him grow as a player. He’s leading the team with 30 points per game.
“It’s making me a better player. Whether I get frustrated at times or not, it’s making me a better rebounder, a better passer and a vocal leader. It’s developing me for next year,” he said. “Coach Desmond preaches all the time to be a winner instead of just going out there for myself. So I know when I’m going out there to stay positive and do the right things.”