2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 2/8/2014 11:52 PM

West Aurora bounces back

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West Aurora basketball coach Gordie Kerkman likes that his team has often participated in the Night of Hoops at Batavia High School.

Kerkman admits he hasn't always been happy with the end results though.

"It is nice to come here but usually we don't play very good here," said Kerkman. "Last year, Benet just killed us over here."

That wasn't the case Saturday night.

Junior Roland Griffin scored 23 points and grabbed 9 rebounds while senior guard Jontrell Walker added 17 points as the Blackhawks (17-4) defeated St. Patrick (12-9) 58-27 during Batavia's 21st annual Jim and Sylvia Roberts Night of Hoops.

Coming off a 57-56 homecourt loss to Naperville Central less than 24 hours earlier, the Blackhawks showed little residual effect from the disappointment as they blanked the Shamrocks in the opening quarter.

West Aurora led 12-0 after 1 period as St. Patrick misfired on all 9 of its field-goal attempts, including 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.

"Usually games like that -- they're pretty tough to come back from," Kerkman said of his team's first DuPage Valley Conference loss of the season against the Redhawks. "It didn't work out very well at Pontiac (tournament) but it worked out better tonight."

Griffin, who began the second quarter with a layup off a feed from Matt Dunn (4 points, 7 assists), added a tough runner and a 3-pointer as the Blackhawks built a 26-13 halftime advantage.

He also combined with 6-8 sophomore Carleton Williams to help discourage the Shamrocks from driving to the basket. Griffin and Williams combined for 5 blocked shots and 14 rebounds as the Blackhawks dominated inside.

"I figured me and Carleton could get inside and dominate the boards," said Griffin. "We defended the paint well."

Griffin continued the hot hand offensively with 10 of his team's 17 third-quarter points, punctuated by his steal and 2-handed slam dunk.

"Roland is capable of doing that," Kerkman said of his all-around performance. "He's probably capable of doing more. He's going to be a heck of a player and he's a heck of a player right now. Hopefully he's only going to get better."

West Aurora, which hosts Glenbard North Friday night, outscored St. Patrick 15-5 in the fourth quarter. Tommy Koth chipped in with 7 points and 6 rebounds while reserve guard Reggie Jordan capped the night with a 3-pointer in the final minute.

Adrian Pierzchanowski led St. Patrick with 12 points.

Griffin was happy to get the bad memories from Friday night out of his head.

"It was good that we had back-to-back games to recover from the tough loss last night," said Griffin.

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