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2013-'14 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 12/26/2013 10:06 PM
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West Aurora dominates Joliet West
 

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West Aurora dominates Joliet West

PONTIAC -- West Aurora made one of its prototypical boys basketball runs against Joliet West Thursday night.

The Blackhawks, holding the Tigers to single-digit production in the opening two quarters, stun Joliet West with the last 13 points of first half.

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Emerging junior star Roland Griffin then scored the first 5 points of the third quarter. By the time Joliet West ended a seven-minute-plus scoring drought, the Blackhawks' rout was in full cycle.

Fourth-seeded West Aurora captured its sixth consecutive victory to advance easily with a 63-40 triumph over Joliet West at the prestigious Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

The final score was as misleading as the Blackhawks' performance was complete; Joliet West (4-6) had almost as many turnovers (16) as points (19) late in the third quarter.

Jontrel Walker was considerably off his 26-point-per-game average, but the senior guard led four starters in double figures with a game-high 14 points.

The lineage of storied programs at Pontiac is no more evident than the startling fact the Blackhawks have appeared in more Class AA state championship games (three) since 1975 than they have titles (two) at Pontiac during the same period.

Carleton Williams made a significant imprint on the West Aurora triumph. The 6-foot-8 sophomore reached double figures for the first time in his nascent West Aurora career.

The post tip dunked one missed layup early in the first quarter and ended the first half with another vicious one-handed throw down to give West Aurora a 33-13 lead at the break.

"Coach (Gordie Kerkman) always tell me to anticipate a miss at any time," said Williams, who finished with 10 points. "I was pretty excited (to play at Pontiac for the first time). I have to be ready to play."

"He's improving all the time," Kerkman said of Williams.

Matt Dunn had two 3-point plays from his point guard position to also finish with 10 points for the Blackhawks.

"We had to help out Jontrel in scoring," Dunn said of his fellow starters. "He usually leads us in scoring. We're trying to step up to win this Pontiac (Holiday) Tournament."

West Aurora (7-1) will face Peoria Manual (6-2), which erupted for 50 second-half points in its 69-61 win over Danville, in the third quarterfinal on Friday evening.

The Blackhawks' last tournament title -- in 1990 -- came at the hands of the four-time state champion Rams.

Walker had three 3-pointers in forging his game-high total; Griffin finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds.

West Aurora showcased a match-up zone for the first time this season to further confuse the Tigers, who finished 16-for-45 (36 percent) for the game from the floor.

"I was just fooling around with it," Kerkman said of his departure from traditional man.

"We didn't execute our (offensive) game plan," Joliet West coach Nick DiForti said. "We don't have many players with varsity experience. They're learning on the fly, unfortunately."

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