PONTIAC, Ill. — West Aurora’s Roland Griffin is an easy player to dream on. The 6-4 junior is strong and athletic, with the special ability to elevate that excites basketball fans more than any other skill.
Three weeks ago word flowed out via twitter that Griffin broke a backboard at West Aurora with a dunk.
“It was at practice,” said Griffin. “Surprisingly I didn’t get in any trouble for it.”
Griffin is in a nice spot with this season’s edition of the Blackhawks. Senior guard Jontrel Walker handles the ball and most of the scoring, but promising 6-8 sophomore Carleton Williams is developing into a force in the post.
That leaves Griffin to play the wing and freelance.
“I want to have a breakout season,” Griffin said. “But over the next few days my goal is to make second team all tournament, at least. Hopefully first team.”
Griffin, Walker and Williams all played their roles to near perfection as West Aurora overwhelmed Joliet West 63-40 in the first round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament on Thursday.
Griffin finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. He threw down a couple of impressive dunks but didn’t do any rim damaging like Curie’s Cliff Alexander managed at last year’s tournament.
Walker led the way with 16 points, he was 7-for-12 from the field. Williams added 10 points and four rebounds.
West Aurora (7-1) led 13-6 after one quarter and closed the first half with a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach early.
Elliot Fizer led Joliet West (4-6) with eight points. The Tigers had trouble scoring throughout the game and were stuck on 13 points for nearly seven minutes of play.
“We didn’t execute our game plan,” said Joliet West coach Nick DiForti. “They took us out of our game very early. We don’t have that many kids with varsity experience. They are learning on the fly, unfortunately.”