Williams, Hicks shine in Webb's win at Southern

Jan. 30, 2013 @ 02:14 AM

Undersized and sometimes overlooked, J.F. Webb point guard Devonte Williams is proving he’s not just a distributor, he can score too.

The sophomore dropped 20 points Tuesday in Webb’s 84-52 win at Southern Vance, a day after scoring 12 at Orange. Isaiah Hicks had a game-high 21 points with 11 rebounds and seven blocks for the Warriors, who improved to 16-3 overall and 5-0 in the 3-A Carolina Conference.

Warrior coach Leo Brunelli lists Williams at 5-foot-7, and that’s a little bit of a stretch.

Williams said he is motivated by those who look past him because of his stature, but he just tries to play his game, which has improved since serving as K.J. Rogers’ backup a season ago.

“It’s a lot easier than last year,” said Williams. “I learned a lot from last year.”

Brunelli said league coaches are all aware of Williams’ game by now and don’t underestimate him.

“If they do, it’s their own fault,” said Brunelli.

Williams knocked down four 3-pointers against Southern, including three in the third quarter.

“He’s a great shooter, flat out,” said Brunelli. “I guarantee you he’s probably shot more before this season started than he has combined his whole life. He got a lot of shots off.”

Williams has also grown adept at finding Hicks on lob plays. It’s exactly as easy it looks, according to Williams.

“Just point up,” William said of communicating with the Warriors’ star player. And Isaiah does the rest.

Hicks, Williams and the Warriors led Southern 43-21 at halftime.

The Raiders played physical to start the game, staying close before Stefan Cates ignited the Webb contingent with a steal and a one-handed flush following a Hicks alley-oop jam.

Cates was also in double figures with 13 points, as was Bryan Smith with 12 points.

Webb forced 21 turnovers in three quarters.

“I don’t even think it was their pressure, I think it was pressure we put on ourselves,” said Southern coach Torrey Nowell.

The Raiders dropped to 1-3 in conference play, led by Ty-Traveon Roberts’ 18 points.

Nowell said Roberts is developing into one of the league’s top players. Roberts’ athleticism is often on display, but the junior is beginning to knock down jumpers more consistently.

“He’s still developing,” said Nowell. “He’s a football player. He’s a great athlete. He’s learning how to handle pressure. He’s trying to turn into a leader.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.