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Aurora Central rallies to defeat Aurora Christian

02/02/2013, 9:45pm CST
By Bob Reynolds

Down 14 points early, Aurora Central roared back for a 67-55 win over Aurora Christian on Saturday.


Aurora Christian's Cory Windle gets past Aurora Central defenders, Zach Flint and Shawn Soris on Saturday, Feb. 02, 2013. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

When a team gets a big early lead against a worthy opponent, it’s very difficult to maintain the momentum.

Aurora Christian found that out in its neighborhood battle against Aurora Central Catholic. The Chargers spotted Aurora Christian a 14-point lead in the second quarter, then roared back to win going away, 67-55.

ACC’s third straight win provided a season sweep against its nearby rivals. And it improved the Chargers record to 12-9 overall and 4-4 in the Suburban Christian Conference.

Phil Schuetz led the Chargers with 22 points, making play after play throughout the game. But it was junior sharpshooter Sean Harreld who made the game’s biggest play.

Up 54-53 with under four minutes to play, it appeared that Aurora Central was content to work for layups only. But after a minute of careful ball movement, Harreld raised up and nailed a three-pointer and was fouled on the play.

Harreld missed the free throw, but Schuetz grabbed the rebound and converted a pair of free throws seconds later to complete the five-point play.

The Eagles never recovered. Starting with a three-point play by Sean Anger (12 points), ACC finished the game with a 16-3 run and tallied 28 points in the fourth quarter.

“Once we started to make some shots, we were able to speed the game up with our press and get some turnovers, force them into quicker shots,” ACC coach Nate Drye said.

Aurora Christian (12-11, 1-7) started the game on fire, with Johnathan Harrell hitting two three-pointers and Cory Windle another in the Eagles’ first four possessions. And when Zach Singer recorded a three-point play and Haydn McNelis a three-pointer, ACS led 25-11. But Schuetz and Anger led the Chargers back on cuts to the basket, helping trim the lead to 29-24 by halftime.

“We came out with low energy, not rotating on their shooters,” said Drye. “We just tried to ride it out and not get bent out of shape because our team always fights back and gets back in it. It was really important to get it within five at halftime.”

The Chargers got contributions from a number of players. Harreld and Shawn Soris both had a pair of treys. Point guard Anthony Andujar only scored four points, but he was instrumental in running the ACC offense and limiting his team to two turnovers in the second half.

“We all got each other good looks and Anthony was passing really well,” said Schuetz. “It’s awesome to play a game against (the Eagles) with this big crowd and all the enthusiasm.”

Harrell and Windle led the Eagles with 15 points each. Harrell got his points on five three-pointers, while Windle had 11 of his points before the intermission.

“Both teams played hard,” said Aurora Christian coach Pat McNamara. “But I thought the big difference was that they executed offensively better than we did in the second half, and we let some shooters open. We have some things to tighten up before the playoffs, especially on defense.”

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