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Elgin's Arie Williams is averaging 23.6 points per game so far this season. | Michael Jarecki~For Sun-Times Media
Arie Williams didn’t get his hands on the hardware he coveted last weekend, but Elgin’s senior point guard still finished 2012 on a pretty good roll.
The Maroons lost to crosstown rival Larkin 60-51 in the championship game of the Elgin Tournament last Saturday, but it was through no fault of Williams, who finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds to cap a monster week.
The craziness began Wednesday when Williams made a halfcourt shot at the final buzzer to lift Elgin to a 55-54 win against Parker. The next night he scored the 1,000th point in his four-year varsity career and hit another game-winning shot in a 53-52 triumph against Dundee-Crown. On Friday he engineered his team’s 60-58 semifinal upset of Las Vegas Centennial.
Williams scored 105 points in four games at the Elgin Tournament, helping him earn Sun-Times Athlete of the Week honors, but the big point production is nothing new. The 5-foot-9 sharpshooter is averaging 23.6 points this season and is eager to take his game and his team even higher in 2013.
“Everybody knows I’m the main player on this team, but it’s not going to mean anything if I’m the only person able to take care of the ball,” Williams said after Saturday’s loss. “My focus in practice and my focus for the rest of the year is getting everyone more comfortable and having more confidence on the floor.”
Williams uses the Twitter handle @theLoneRanger10, which is fitting considering he is the only starter back this year from an Elgin team that posted a 26-4 record last year and claimed its second consecutive Upstate Eight River crown and regional title.
The heavy losses led to tempered expectations for the Maroons this season, but Elgin owns a respectable 9-7 record thanks in large part to Williams, who before this year played the role of a secondary scorer and ball distributor for the Maroons.
Williams still hasn’t made a college decision, and his size is likely the only thing keeping Division I coaches from banging on his door. Although he isn’t the most high-profile recruit, he is the main attraction at Elgin, where adult fans and fellow students have taken to copying Williams by wearing his trademark headband while watching in the stands.
Three-point shooting is one of the things Williams does best, and he’s drained 56 threes through 16 games this year. His older brother Armani Williams’ single-season program record of 114 threes might be in reach if the Maroons make an extended playoff run, which is Arie Williams’ main goal.
“We’re learning, and the thing we have to keep learning is to not make the same mistake,” Williams said. “I feel like if we just keep on working hard in practice and keep on executing in practice, it will carry over to the game and everything will be fine for March.”