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Zach Flint’s shooting sparks Aurora Central to win

12/04/2012, 9:00pm CST
By Paul Johnson

Aurora Central senior Zach Flint hit 10 of his 11 shots from the field and scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Chargers to a 66-60 nonconference win over Plainfield Central.

Aurora Central's Phil Schuetz eyes the basket against Plainfield Central at Plainfield Central High School in Plainfield, Ill., on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media

During warm-ups prior to Tuesday’s nonconference game at Plainfield Central, Aurora Central Catholic senior Zach Flint was feeling it.

“It feels amazing,” Flint said. “You just know when it releases off your fingertips that it’s going in. I was thinking, ‘Hopefully I can keep it going.’”

He had little trouble keeping that momentum going all night long.

Flint keyed a hot shooting night for the Chargers, hitting 10 of 11 shots from the field — including all four of his three-point attempts — en route to a game-high 27 points. That helped the Chargers pick up a 66-60 win to move to 5-1 on the season.

“Zach was amazing in the first half,” ACC coach Nate Drye said of Flint’s 20 points at the break. “He was great. He had a fabulous game. He really played smart. He hustled great. That’s the best he’s shot all year. He definitely can shoot it, but that’s the best he’s shot it. He’s having a good year, he really is.”

With Flint going 7 of 8 from the field — including all of his three-pointers — in the first half, ACC was able to jump out of the gates quickly against Plainfield Central (3-3). The Wildcats turned the ball over on their first five possessions which helped ACC take a 9-1 lead at the outset and a 21-12 lead at the end of the quarter to set the tone.

“It’s one of those situations where, you hate to say it, but the game was lost in the first four minutes,” Plainfield Central coach Steve Lamberti said. “It’s hard playing from behind. They’re a good, solid team. They made shots. You can’t come out that out of whack to start the game, that was it.”

Despite ACC’s blistering pace from the field, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to a 36-21 rebounding edge, which was keyed by Logan Velasquez. He hauled down 15 boards to go with a team-high 19 points. He had 11 points and 11 rebounds at the break, which helped the Wildcats cut the lead to 34-31.

A three-pointer from ACC reserve Brad Searles to start the fourth quarter and a pair of threes from Shawn Soris pushed the lead out to 60-48 early in the fourth. But the Wildcats got into the bonus early and kept clawing away. The closest they could get was four in the closing seconds, however, allowing ACC to escape with the win.

“We were fortunate to have the lead and get out of there, because we didn’t play particularly well tonight,” Drye said. “We have to be better. That wasn’t acceptable tonight. It’s always nice to get out with a ‘W’ when you don’t think you played particularly well. We have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be.”

Soris scored 15 points and Anthony Andujar had 13 for the Chargers. Plainfield Central’s Curtis Harrington scored 17 in the loss.

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