HomeBasketballBoys basketball notes: James Parker powers Metea Valley

Boys basketball notes: James Parker powers Metea Valley


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Opponents had best beware when facing James Parker and Metea Valley.

A 5-foot-10 senior point guard, Parker often has the ball in his hands on offense, making good things happen as he powers the Mustangs’ potent attack.

At the other end of the court, he may be even more dangerous. He plays defense with a ferocity coaches love. Foes know he’s coming for the ball and he’s not subtle.

The subject brought a smile to the face of teammate Will Ashford, a 6-6 senior.

“James is always looking for the ball,” Ashford said. “He’s looking to get it and go 94 feet every single time. He’s one of our best defenders, always active, looking to play defense.”

That was evident Friday night as Parker made three big plays for the host Mustangs in the final seven seconds of a 44-42 victory over DeKalb in a DuPage Valley Conference opener.

Parker helped Metea (4-2, 1-0) milk the clock for nearly all of the final minute in a tie game. As the seconds ticked under 10, Parker drove to the basket against Sean Reynolds, DeKalb’s standout junior guard.

“I was attacking all game,” Parker said. “I went downhill, he tripped, which made me go off balance. I threw the ball up and it came off the rim.”

Both players went for it, with Parker trailing.

“He was grabbing it and didn’t see me coming from behind,” Parker said. “I just snatched it out of his hands. It was a 50-50 ball.”

Parker’s second layup attempt went through the rim with 2.5 seconds left. He then made his fourth steal of the game on the inbounds pass, which would clinch the win over the Barbs (4-3, 0-1).

“This year, he’s gotten into his groove a lot more,” Ashford said of Parker, who transferred from East Aurora for his junior year and split floor time last season.

He started slow but finished strong, according to Metea coach Isaiah Davis.

“I was just trying to find my fit,” Parker said. “Then, during the summer, it was like coach handed me the keys and said, ‘You’re the leader. You’re the point guard. The ball is going to be in your hands.’”

Parker pointed out that it gave him confidence.

“He handles the ball, he’s poised, he’s under control,” Davis said. “He’s an outstanding player. I believe he’s one of the best guards around. It shows any time he’s on the court.”

A perfect beginning: Waubonsie Valley and it’s full-court pressure defense, led by Treshawn Bissett, Tyreek Coleman and Moses Wilson up front, has reeled off six straight wins.

The Warriors are the lone remaining undefeated team in the area. Their two closest games have featured winning margins of 16 points, a 47-31 win over Batavia (4-2) in the round-robin Ken Peddy Windmill City Classic, and a 60-44 victory over Naperville Central (5-2).

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“As I learned while coaching football and basketball earlier in my career, it’s not good to get ahead of myself,” said Andrew Schweitzer, who’s in his third year as Waubonsie’s head coach. “You’re always happy with any win, but we had a similar start last year and I may have overscheduled.”

The Warriors play host to Harlem (2-5) in a nonconference game Tuesday and should face a good test Friday at home against district rival Metea.

“I absolutely love the group we have here,” Schweitzer said. “We have a nice mix of experienced seniors and juniors who are playing hard and contributing.

“Defensively, we’ve been causing a lot of issues for our opponents.”

Waubonsie Valley's Tyreek Coleman, right, reacts to teammate Moses Wilson as he goes in for a slam dunk on an assist by Coleman during a game in the Ken Peddy Windmill City Classic at Batavia on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023.

The streaky kind: Jacobs opened with four consecutive losses at the Palatine Tournament but have bounced back to win three straight, led by the hot shooting of 6-foot junior guard Ben Jurzak.

The win streak included handing McHenry (4-1) its first loss with a 65-56 decision.

Jurzak averaged 21.3 points and shot 50% (23 of 46), including 53% (16 of 30) from beyond the 3-point line.

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