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Article updated: 12/4/2013 10:52 PM
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Hot shooting lifts Aurora Christian past JCA
 

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Hot shooting lifts Aurora Christian past JCA
  • Joliet Catholic's Luke Mander and Colton Kolowski swarm and swipe at Aurora Christian's Zach Singer as he goes up for the basket in the second quarter on Wednesday, December 4.

    Purchase Photo | Joliet Catholic's Luke Mander and Colton Kolowski swarm and swipe at Aurora Christian's Zach Singer as he goes up for the basket in the second quarter on Wednesday, December 4. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Aurora Christian's Wes Wolfe weaves around a block by Joliet Catholic's Michael Johnson in the second quarter on Wednesday, December 4.

    Purchase Photo | Aurora Christian's Wes Wolfe weaves around a block by Joliet Catholic's Michael Johnson in the second quarter on Wednesday, December 4. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Aurora Christian's Wes Wolfe goes in for 2 of his team-high 18 points in a 77-65 win over Joliet Catholic Wednesday in Aurora.

    Purchase Photo | Aurora Christian's Wes Wolfe goes in for 2 of his team-high 18 points in a 77-65 win over Joliet Catholic Wednesday in Aurora. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Joliet Catholic's Jimmy Elias jumps up to block Aurora Christian's Steve Buhrt (50) as he shoots for the hoop alongside teammate R.D. Lutze in the first quarter on Wednesday, December 4.

    Purchase Photo | Joliet Catholic's Jimmy Elias jumps up to block Aurora Christian's Steve Buhrt (50) as he shoots for the hoop alongside teammate R.D. Lutze in the first quarter on Wednesday, December 4. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  •  Aurora Christian's Johnathan Harrell goes up for the hoop with Joliet Catholic's Jalen Jackson Jimmy Elias attempting a block in the third quarter on Wednesday, December 4.

    Purchase Photo | Aurora Christian's Johnathan Harrell goes up for the hoop with Joliet Catholic's Jalen Jackson Jimmy Elias attempting a block in the third quarter on Wednesday, December 4. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 

Aurora Christian and Joliet Catholic didn't make every shot they took in their matchup Wednesday on the second night of the Eagles' third annual Burney Wilkie Classic.

It only seemed that way.

Story Continues Below

The Hilltoppers were on fire much of the night, finishing with 13 3-pointers and an even 50 percent shooting from the field -- and still couldn't keep up with the even hotter Eagles in Aurora Christian's 77-65 victory.

The teams combined for 22-of-42 shooting on their 3-point attempts. By halftime five players already were in double figures.

The teams were on pace for a final score in the 80s until the Eagles slowed the pace over the final five minutes for their second straight win to start the season.

"They have weapons everywhere," Joliet Catholic coach Joe Gura said. "Their coach does a really good job because they have two outstanding offensive players and he puts them in a position where you can't help because other guys can hit shots too.

"Our situation is we have really good skill players but we're young."

The Hilltoppers (0-2) played one senior and five sophomores. Jalen Jackson was one of those sophs, and he made five 3s to finish with a game-high 23 points.

Aurora Christian (2-0) countered with a balanced scoring attack paced by Wes Wolfe's 18 points, Steve Buhrt's 17, Johnathan Harrell with 14 and R.D. Lutze and Zach Singer both with 9. The Eagles shot 55 percent from the field (30 for 55) and outrebounded the Hilltoppers 37-16.

Wolfe and Harrell also were instrumental in the Eagles' ball movement with a combined 13 assists a night after Harrell had 10 assists while attempting only 3 shots.

"That is a big thing this year," Aurora Christian coach Pat McNamara said. "We have some guys who can score. We've got to be unselfish and we've got to see the open man."

Both Harrell and Wolfe scored 11 points in the first half that ended with the Eagles up 40-36 after back-to-back putback baskets from Grant Schweisthal. The Hilltoppers held their final lead at 34-32.

Aurora Christian scored 25 points in the third quarter, then Lutze opened the fourth with another 3 for a 13-point lead. The Hilltoppers got as close as 70-65 with 5:43 left, then didn't score again.

Aurora Christian looks for its third win in the tournament Thursday night against Montini before finishing Saturday against St. Edward, also 2-0 in the tourney.

"We played well tonight together just as a team," said Wolfe, whose father Todd Wolfe played at Michigan State. "We're really looking forward to seeing where we're going to go with it."

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