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Eagles start fast in home victory

12/05/2012, 10:33pm CST
By Chris Pall

Aurora Christian went on a 13-0 run in the first quarter and never relinquished the lead on its way to a 40-25 win over Chicago Christian.


Aurora Christian's Alyssa Andersen, pulls up to hit a mid-range jump shot over Chicago Christian on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at Aurora Christian High School in Aurora IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

Unleashing a full-court trapping press, the Aurora Christian Eagles ran out to an early lead Wednesday night and never looked back in a 40-25 Suburban Christian victory over Chicago Christian.

Forcing seven first-quarter turnovers, the host Eagles (5-3, 1-1) gained control with a 13-0 run. Junior Alyssa Andersen scored eight of her 12 points in the opening frame. A pair of free throws by Andersen at the 5:01 mark put the Eagles ahead 4-3 and they never relinquished that advantage.

“We stressed getting out of the gate strong,” said ACS coach Jerry Tokars. “A lot of times man-to-man defense or a press gets them engaged. And it keeps them focused.”

Sophomore Natasha Brown finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. She followed Andersen’s freebees with a bucket on a feed from Andersen. Andersen added a pair of field goals before Gabby Galbato hit a 16-footer. Senior Alex Hultine closed the burst with a three-pointer with 1:00 to play in the first quarter.

“We’ve worked on it (full court press) because a lot of teams were breaking it,” Andersen said. “Tonight was a really good night for us though. We went really hard at it.”

Andersen opened the second stanza with a basket in the lane for a 17-5 margin. The Eagles held a 25-13 halftime lead and extended the advantage to 38-19 after three quarters.

Andersen shared game-high scoring honors with Brown and Chicago Christian’s Anna Persenaire. Taylor Eaves chipped in six points while Hultine added five points. Brown led rebounders and is averaging in the neighborhood of 15.

“I just make sure I box out the person and go for the ball,” explained Brown. “That is my goal and I just keep working hard at it.”

“Natasha is always active on the glass,” Tokars said. “She is a rebounding machine. You see the ball bouncing and she comes out with it.”

Brown tallied six points in the third frame hitting two field goals in the lane and a pair from the stripe.

Chicago Christian (3-5) was cold from the field all night, connecting on a mere 12-of-36 from the field. The Eagles hit just 15-of-45.

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