Paul Ferguson jokes that his players' eyes get real big when they see a zone defense.
What the Warriors' shooters did to visiting Aurora Central Catholic's zone defense Friday night was no joke at all. Wheaton Academy (14-5, 6-1) connected on its first eight shots form the floor -- including four 3-pointers -- en route to a 25-point first quarter and a 54-25 Suburban Christian Blue victory.
"We had a great start," Ferguson said. "Our crowd energized us, the guys were really focused and we had an unbelievable start."
With Gabe Partain hitting two early 3s and Collin Roy also connecting from way outside, it was 9-0 1˝ minutes into the game. Five more shots without a miss, plus a pair of free throws, and it was 22-5 just five minutes into the game.
Six-foot-8 junior forward Gordon Behr also got involved in the long-range fun, knocking down 3s in each of the first two quarters on his way to 14 first-half points and a game-high total of 16 points despite resting for much of the second half.
"We moved the ball around well and we love playing against zone because we have really good shooters," said Behr, who gave the Warriors a 39-13 lead late in the first half with a shot from beyond the arc. "It definitely helps to come out and start the game that well."
The Chargers (9-9, 3-4) never really recovered from Wheaton Academy's fast start and trailed by 31 points after tallying just one point in the third quarter and falling behind the conference co-leaders 47-16 in West Chicago.
"Essentially we were really bad today and they were really good," ACC coach Nathan Drye said. "We couldn't score and we couldn't stop them. That's a bad combination."
Jacob May led the Chargers with 6 points and Shawn Soris and Sean Harreld each knocked down 3-pointers, but it was not nearly enough on a night when eight Warriors scored and six of them had at least one 3-pointer.
"When everyone can score like that and we're moving the ball around, it will be hard to stop us," Behr said.
Roy finished with 10 points for the Warriors and Partain scored 8 points, all in the first half. Brandon Ruggles had 6 points and a team-leading 9 rebounds for the hosts, who stayed atop the conference standings.
"We shoot the ball well and our guys' eyes kind of light up when they see zone," said Ferguson, after his squad shot 9 of 12 in the first quarter and 15 of 26 for the half while taking command.