||Search Results||Watch Live||Buy Photos||Sign up||School Finder|
There was no stopping Jontrell Walker and West Aurora Saturday night, no matter how East Aurora tried.
Walker made a three-pointer 33 seconds into the 217th meeting of the crosstown rivals with a defender in his face. It started him on the way to a 28-point night, despite being the focus of the Tomcats' box-and-one defense in their ill-fated second quarter of an 86-51 rout.
"How do you concentrate your whole defense towards one guy and he goes the whole ball game and only misses three shots?" asked an incredulous East coach Wendell Jeffries.
Walker finished 8-for-11 from the floor and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line, but had plenty of help as the Blackhawks won by the largest margin in the history of the series and hold a 130-87 advantage.
Prior to the game, West broadcaster Neal Ormond was honored for his 50 years of calling Blackhawks' athletic contests. This was his 108th East-West game.
"The fact we played four quarters, which has been a little bit of a bugaboo for us," West coach Gordie Kerkman said when asked what pleased him most.
"Even though we've had some wins by large margins, most of them we had stretches where we didn't play well."
Not this night.
The Blackhawks, now 14-3, had a winning combination. They shot lights out — 58 percent (30-for-52) for the game — and outrebounded the Tomcats by more than a 3-to-1 margin (39-11).
East trailed only 15-11 after one quarter before going to the gimmick defense and it blew up in their face as junior forward Roland Griffin scored 11 of his 20 points in the period to give the Blackhawks a 37-22 advantage at the break.
"We figured we had to control the tempo and slow the game down, that's why our offense in the first quarter was very deliberate," said Jeffries, whose team dropped to 4-14. "We went to a defense that was supposed to make their supporting cast step up and they did just that.
"Griffin stepped up and Marquis Howard hit some big shots for them. To compound it, we went cold for a stretch, too."
The 6-4 Griffin, who received his first scholarship offer from coaches at Northern Illinois earlier in the day, sparked a 10-0 run midway through the second by hitting a trey, driving from the three-point line in for a layup and draining a 17-footer from the wing.
West got 13 points from Howard off the bench and eight each from Matt Dunn and Tommy Kuth and seven from Carleton Williams. East got 14 points from Fred Reynolds and 13 from Jonathan Villezcas.
The remarkable stat of the night, however, was the 5-8 Dunn pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. Griffin added eight, Williams seven (two blocks) and Koth had four.
Villezcas had five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots for the Tomcats.
"Everything we did for five days was about stopping Jontrell Walker and then he drops 28," Jeffries said.