With Jestin Jameson, the team’s tallest starter and leading scorer, out with a swollen knee, Montgomery High needed someone to step up against visiting Castle Park.
Charles Williams held his hand way up there.
The 5-foot-11 senior scored a game-high 25 points — just one contest after collecting his season-high of 26 points — and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Aztecs to a 62-42 victory Friday night in South Bay League action.
“With (Jameson) out, I got to rebound,” said Williams. “He’s our tallest guy at 6-4 and so that became a weakness. They were taller but we were faster, stronger and more athletic.”
It took Montgomery most of the first quarter to realize that Jameson and his 17.5 points and 12 rebounds were absent. But Williams made his impact immediately, scoring eight of the Aztecs’ 20 points for a 20-15 advantage.
Montgomery started playing much better defense in the second quarter and put the game away when they came back after halftime and went on a 13-0 run to start the second half, turning a 14-point lead into a 27-point bulge.
“We didn’t want them to stay close,” said Williams, who had the first four and last three points of the run that prevented Castle Park from scoring for almost six minutes.
With the victory, the Aztecs (14-4) move to 4-1 in league play, tied with Sweetwater for second place, a game behind undefeated San Ysidro.
A victory against Castle Park was imperative to keep the showdown at Sweetwater on Wednesday for sole possession of second place.
As for Williams, he didn’t even play in the loss to San Ysidro, still recovering from a concussion he received in an Aztec Holiday Classic tournament game against Valley Center, so he’s looking for a different result next time.
Preston Thomas scored 14 points, 12 in the first half, in support of Williams, while sophomore Mylik Steen led the way for Castle Park (6-9, 0-5) with 15 points.