The fans packed Josey’s gym to see 3-pointers and slams.
Instead, they saw defensive stops.
In a matchup of Ahmed Hill and Darius Williams, two of the area’s best players and scorers, Aquinas’ defense was the difference in the Irish’s 53-42 win Friday night.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams, who will coach Hill in college, was on hand as both Hill and Josey’s Williams scored 19 points.
“I just tried to stay up on him as close as I could and not let him touch the ball that many times,” said Hill, who guarded Williams most of the night.
After the game, Hill and his future coach had a brief handshake and chat before Williams said he had to catch a flight.
The Marquette coach said he wanted to see some of the traits he looks for in a player.
“(I look for) character, how hard they play, what kind of teammate they are, what’s their body language like,” he said. “How important is winning? Can they do the things that translate to the next level?”
Williams estimated he’s been to the area 21 times, often for the Peach Jam. He joked he’s been in the Aiken-Augusta area so many times, people at the local airport recognize him.
Hill did most of his work Friday night at the foul line, where he converted 10 of 12 attempts.
Hill and his Irish teammates found a home at the line in the fourth quarter, making 16 free throws to help them remain in front.
The Eagles’ Williams slumped through a scoreless third quarter before he found his range on a pair of long fourth-quarter 3-pointers.
But Aquinas (18-4), which also got 15 points from Tamyrick Fields, had too much.
In the girls game, Josey had no trouble routing Aquinas 57-17.
Josey held the Lady Irish to just one field goal in the second and third quarters, which included a shutout in the third.
The Lady Eagles dominated in all areas, grabbing offensive rebounds, scoring in transition and knocking down 3s.
Briana Dubose led all players with 15 points, reaching the total in part because of her three 3-pointers.
Dubose and Josey didn’t waste time in jumping out safely ahead.
“I’m not happy, but I’m happier than I’ve been the past month or so,” Lady Eagles coach Jawan Bailey said about his team. “They’re getting better.”