Talented junior trio of Luke Williams, Bryce Welch, Cole Arl leads Naperville North into Jack Tosh second round

Luke Williams led the Huskies with 23 points in their 49-44 win against Glenbard West in the first round of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic on Monday in Elmhurst.

SHARE Talented junior trio of Luke Williams, Bryce Welch, Cole Arl leads Naperville North into Jack Tosh second round
Naperille North’s Bryce Welch (3) drives along the baseline as the Huskies play Glenbard West.

Naperille North’s Bryce Welch (3) drives along the baseline as the Huskies play Glenbard West.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Naperville North coach Gene Nolan knew his talented junior backcourt of Luke Williams, Bryce Welch and Cole Arl played together at Washington Junior High, but the trio’s connection goes back even further.

The three guards have been playing together since they were third graders.

“We all complement each other on the court, “ Welch said. “We play really well together, smart and hard. Coach trusts us to make good decisions. We’ve been doing it for a long time and that makes it easy.”

Williams, a FBS football recruit, has posted impressive scoring totals over the first month of the season. He led the Huskies with 23 points in their 49-44 win against Glenbard West in the first round of the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic on Monday in Elmhurst.

Welch provided the spark that made the difference in the game. The Hilltoppers (6-3) led by six early in the third quarter. Welch had several steals and scored nine points in a 14-0 run that gave the Huskies the lead.

Glenbard West clawed back and took a 38-37 advantage on a three-pointer by Luuk Dusek with 4:01 left. Williams found Welch for a three-pointer 20 seconds later that put Naperville North (7-5) ahead for good.

“If I have a shot I’m going to take it,” Williams said. “But I need to be a playmaker too and I’m trying to find my teammates when they are open.”

Williams is bouncy and athletic and could clearly play Division I college basketball if he chose to, but football is his future.

“Most likely,” Williams said. “But I want to get my name out there in basketball too.”

Welch finished with 16 points and Arl added 11. Junior Jack Kallstrand contributed six rebounds off the bench.

“I try to take the long view of the season,” Nolan said. “We are improving. We still have a ways to go but this is a great group of kids that wants to get better.”

The Huskies forced Glenbard West into 21 turnovers. They had 20 pass deflections in the game.

“We were getting good looks in the first half that weren’t falling,” Welch said. “That happens sometimes, but you can always be consistent on defense.”

Senior Logan Brown led the Hilltoppers with 12 points and nine rebounds and sophomore Dominic Seaney also scored 12.

“Glenbard West graduated a lot from that generational team last year, but the guys they have practiced against those players every day,” Nolan said. “That’s why they are so good this year.”

The Huskies will face St. Ignatius in the second round on Tuesday. The Wolfpack, one of the favorites to win the tournament, knocked off Minooka 64-36 in the first round.

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