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Aurora Christian's Ryan Suttle looks to score as St Edward's Nick Duffy defends Saturday. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Celebrating senior night Saturday, Aurora Christian gave its seniors — some of whom are not normally starters — extensive run early against St. Edward.
As it turned out, that group of seniors helped the Eagles jump out to a 16-4 lead, and they never looked back. Aurora Christian avenged a loss to the Green Wave earlier this season in a big way, with every player on the roster scoring in an 83-44 rout.
“You get one or two nights a season where everything goes in,” Aurora Christian coach Pat McNamara said. “This is one of those nights. Guys were hitting. Sometimes they fall, and they fell tonight.”
All 16 points of the opening run to start the game were scored by seniors, with five coming from Cory Windle. The Eagles never let up from there. In the second quarter, they posted a 15-4 run to lead 31-15 at the half. Sophomore Wes Wolfe scored six points in the quarter.
Then in the third, junior Johnathan Harrell got into the flow. Coming off the bench in deference to his senior teammates, Harrell was held scoreless in the first half. But in the third, he scored Aurora Christian’s first 10 points to help push the lead to 43-18 midway through the quarter.
“He’s had a terrific three weeks,” McNamara said of Harrell. “He’s really coming into his own. He was a little up and down early, but he’s playing really well. He’s peaking at the right time.”
Even Christian’s third unit didn’t relent in the fourth quarter. Runs of 11-0 and 7-0 in the fourth pushed the lead to as many as 42 points (83-41). Senior reserve Jake Gehman scored 12 points in the quarter and wound up leading the team with 14 overall. Harrell scored 13 and Windle added 12 points.
“Jake doesn’t get a lot of playing time and he did what he knew he could do and did really well,” Windle said. “We’re seniors. We’ve been playing together four years, a lot of chemistry. We’re all friends and that’s what’s been great, playing with our friends all of these years. The camaraderie there is amazing, so it was like we didn’t even skip a beat.”
The first time the teams played back in December, St. Edward (19-6) won while Aurora Christian (14-11) was still working its football players into the mix. The two teams could meet again in two weeks at regionals.
“We played them the first time and they didn’t have any of their football guys ready, so we knew that was a great time to play them,” St. Edward coach P.J. White said. “We knew they would be much better the second time around.
“Obviously, we never dreamed they would be that good. That being said, we have to go back to the drawing board. There are still a couple more things to be done and hopefully we never have a night like that again.”
Nick Duffy led all scorers for the Green Wave with 17 points. Davonte Elam added 10 points. St. Edward hit only 1-of-18 from three-point range in the loss.
The Eagles hope this is a springboard to the postseason with two games left before regionals.
“It’s great for confidence, sending a message,” Windle said. “To send a message to someone in our regional is great. We know we have to keep getting better and consistently play like that.”