Four years ago, Willie Williams was trying to figure out where he would fit among the CHSAA-bound Bronx guards. Tyreak Johnson was going to St. Raymond’s and Rashawn Storch was planning on attending All Hallows.
Where would Williams find his niche?
“At first I was going to go to All Hallows, but then I looked at the big picture, saw my talents and thought I could go and get better at Mount St. Michael,” he said. “I thought being at Mount would help me tremendously become a better point guard.”
Considering the path each program has taken, Williams has never second-guessed himself. Mount advanced to the Class A intersectional semifinals last year and could go even further this season. All Hallows has floundered in the Class AA basement and its top two players from last year’s 3-24 team transferred.
On Thursday, Williams carried the Mountaineers in a 72-56 thrashing of All Hallows, further solidifying his eighth-grade decision.
“I felt like I needed to develop and if I went to Mount it would give me a better opportunity to play and it would be somewhere I could grow into a better athlete and a better student,” he said. “It was a great decision.”
Williams scored a game-high 26 points with eight steals, eight assists and five rebounds as the Mountaineers opened up a 19-7 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
“He ran us well, got his hands on so many balls, guarding the ball, in the lane,” Mount coach Tom Fraher said. “Willie Williams was terrific today.”
Williams said the lopsided win against a decimated All Hallows squad was important in a game that featured neighborhood friends. The Mountaineers also proved they could play with a ‘AA’ team, albeit one that will struggle mightily this season.
With the addition of sophomore Pete “Trey” Aguilar, the scoring onus has been taken off of Williams’ shoulders this season. He’s able to concentrate more on running the Mount offense and playing hard-nosed defense.
But on Thursday, the undecided senior showcased his entire arsenal.
“The one thing he did wrong was he missed a breakaway layup on the steal. Other than that he was terrific,” Fraher said. “
Aguilar initially thought about attending All Hallows, as well. After all, his father, Pete Aguilar II, was a freshman coach there.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore scored 18 points after dropping a game-high 27 points in his varsity debut Monday against Salesian.
“I’ve been playing with half of that team since I was six, seven years old,” Aguilar said, referring to his father’s Next Generation AAU team. “It was a big game for us.”
Powerful 6-foot-2 forward Gary Acquah, a standout on the Mount team, added 10 points (2-0), which extended its lead to 25 in the third quarter.
Rashawn Storch and Tevin Williams scored 15 points apiece and Mike Alvorado added 12 for All Hallows in its season opener.
“Today we were abysmal,” All Hallows coach John Carey said. “We were horrible. But it’s only the first game of the year, what are you going to do?”