Niles West's Williams nets 400th win against Maine West

22-year coach guides Wolves to 58-51 CSL crossover win

By Jeff Davis
February 19, 2013 09:21 PM

Niles West boys basketball coach Bob Williams has been around long enough to know that there are things that he values more than wins.

But he also has been around long enough to pile up plenty of victories, too.

Williams achieved his 400th career win in the final regular-season game of his 22nd season, as Niles West beat Maine West 58-51 in a Central Suburban League crossover game in Skokie.

Williams, in his fourth season at the Wolves’ helm after 18 years at Schaumburg, was presented with the game ball by Niles West Athletic Director David Rosengard after the game as his players beamed and applauded.

“As a young coach, you see some of those older guys get that 400 win thing and that kind of stuff and you go: ‘That’s amazing.’ I look at it now, and I realize I’m old, right?,” said Williams, who gave credit to his players.

“There’s a lot of great kids that are willing to work hard – and it’s no secret we’re kind of old school and play hard and that kind of stuff. And we’ve have a lot of kids willing to do that to be successful. I’m very hopeful, and I hear it a lot of times from people that have graduated and gone on, that they’ve learned a lot of attitudes and habits on how to be successful in anything they do. And that’s what I’m really proud of.”

Alex Darville (16 points),David McCoy (13 points), Joe Younan (12 points), Ahmad Gibson (7 points) and Mohammed Qureshi (6 points) led the Wolves, who extended a 16-14 first-quarter lead to 34-27 at halftime and led 49-42 entering the final period.

Tom Kukec (16 points), Anthony Dones (13 points) and Allante Bates led Maine West (11-15).

“We’ve got a lot of kids that can score and I think it makes it difficult to defend us,” Williams said. “We did a pretty good job of not letting them get easy baskets and controlling them defensively. And the beginning of the fourth all of a sudden they were getting to the hoop and getting easy baskets. I thought we did a very good job until we thought we might win the game.”

The win was the Wolves’ fourth in their last five games and improved their final regular-season record to 16-10 after finishing 7-19 last season.

Niles West, the 9 seed in the Class 4A Maine South Sectional, will play No. 8 seed Glenbrook North (14-11) in the Maine South Regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

“16-10, especially missing David for so many games, (is good),” Williams said of missing leading scorer and rebounder McCoy with a fractured sternum for three weeks. “We’re on a roll. Last year, we were on a roll and we won four of the last six. So this year we’re on a little bit of a roll again and we’re hopeful we can tune up a couple things and be ready for one heck of a regional, that’s for sure, with Glenbrook North, (No. 1 seed) Maine South and ourselves all in the same regional.”