The venue was about the only thing that changed in the second meeting this season between West Aurora and Glenbard East as the Blackhawks methodically broke down the Rams during a 80-46 win on the road Friday night.
In a matchup between the first- and last-place teams in the DuPage Valley Conference, the Blackhawks (15-3, 8-0) left little doubt as to which was which, effectively pressing and dominating the glass against the Rams (4-16, 0-8).
"We've emphasized defense and rebounding and the last two or three (games) we've done a good job," said West Aurora coach Gordie Kerkman. "We were very good."
The Blackhawks outrebounded the Rams 48-25, including 18 offensive rebounds.
"Physically, they killed us on the glass," Glenbard East coach Scott Miller said.
Rebounding came from every position for West Aurora. Point guard Matt Dunn finished with 11 to go along with 16 points, and Roland Griffin had 10.
"I was just determined," said Dunn, who fulfilled his pregame goal to reach a double-double. "I just missed (a double-double) last time."
Dunn's success didn't surprise Kerkman.
"Inch for inch, he's the best rebounder we got," Kerkman said.
West Aurora, which won the first meeting 64-31, got a corner 3-pointer from guard Dunn off a nice pass from Griffin on its first possession and never looked back.
"We just came out and attacked in the first half and kept it up," Dunn said. "We didn't want to let them comeback."
Griffin dictated things offensively early, scoring six of his 12 points during a 14-2 run, spurred by the Blackhawks' full-court press, to give the Blackhawks a comfortable working margin on the way to a 21-8 first quarter.
West Aurora leading scorer Jontrell Walker took over the reigns in the second quarter. His back-to-back 3s gave the Blackhawks their biggest lead of the half, 36-10, with about five minutes remaining. He finished with 27 points.
Leading 43-18 at the break, the lead ballooned to as many as 43 in the third quarter before Kerkman pulled most of his starters. The effort was there for the Rams, but they had trouble converting energy into points.
"I was disappointed with our execution against their pressure," said Miller, whose team let opportunities slip away when they did break through. "That's been the story of our season -- we've got to be able to finish (baskets) when it counts."
Miller was pleased with Terrance Lakes' development, though, calling it the sophomore's best varsity game. Lakes finished with 8 points. Patrick Peterkin led the Rams with 12.
But this night belonged to the Blackhawks, who have their eyes on bigger prizes.
"I told the team before the game that this is a great time for us," Kerkman said. "We have a good chance to get a No. 1 seed in the sectional."