Clicking on all cylinders here Saturday afternoon, Aurora Central throttled visiting Kenwood 57-45 in a non conference matchup.
The Chargers, who improved to 10-9 overall, led by 26 points late in the third quarter before emptying the bench and coasting to the win.
Phil Schuetz, a 6-foot-3 senior, was in the driver's seat early scoring 11 points in the first frame. After falling behind 5-0, the Chargers clipped off 12 straight points. Schuetz netted nine of those points, hitting four baskets from the post including an old fashioned three-point play; and Sean Harreld sank a three-pointer.
Continuing to find the cutting man in the right spot with precise timing while playing solid defense, the Chargers pulled away each quarter. Schuetz finished with a game-high 17 points, and Harreld tossed in 12 points, all coming from beyond the arc.
"I thought our kids did a nice job moving the ball with pace," said ACC coach Nathan Drye. "We hit some nice cutters, and Phil did a nice job finishing at the basket."
"When he scores early that opens it up for everybody else," Drye continued. "It takes some of the pressure off. It makes it easier for the team when he takes the lid off the basket."
ACC owned an 18-11 advantage after eight minutes, and Mike O'Donnell took the keys from there. O'Donnell extended the margin to 24-13 with a 6-0 burst. He sank a pair of free throws, hit a layup and putback an offensive rebound in a span of 1:38. Closing out the half with three long balls, the Chargers lead ballooned to 33-19. Shawn Soris, Zach Flint and Schuetz each buried a trey.
"We just wanted to cut hard and hit the open cutters when they were there because they were switching a lot," Schuetz said. "We had a lot of back cuts that were open and did a good job of hitting them."
Harreld took the reigns in the third quarter when he canned three treys. Sinking back to back triples, Harreld upped the margin to 42-23. Schuetz went coast to coast for a layup after dribbling through the Broncos press, and Harreld followed with a another 3-pointer before Sean Anger fed Flint for an easy bucket and a 49-23 lead.
The Broncos misfired on 29 of 40 shots from the field in the first three stanzas while the Chargers connected on 20 of 40, including seven of 16 from 3-point land.
"We were trying to stay up high on their shooters and crash down hard on the big guys whenever they tried to post up," Schuetz explained. "We moved really good defensively all day."
"I thought we guarded well today," said Drye. "Our effort and movement on defense was terrific. We took them out of a lot of what they were trying to do. Our activity and getting in the passing lanes limited what they could do."