A diamond merchant could have only wished he had products as flawless as Josh Ruggles was Monday night in Aurora for 23 minutes and 22 seconds.
The Wheaton Academy guard, after making all 6 of his first-half shots in the Warriors’ Suburban Christian Conference Blue boys basketball game against Aurora Central Catholic, did not even touch rim in draining three 3-pointers after the intermission.
Ruggles’ first miss — a running one-hander in the lane — was followed by another desperation attempt to beat the quarter.
Unfazed, Ruggles again did not even touch iron with two more four-quarter 3-pointers.
Finishing 10-for-12 from the field, including nine 3-pointers, Ruggles’ career-high 33 points was too much for ACC to overcome in the Warriors’ 63-42 victory in a makeup game.
“I guess we just watched a lot of film and broke it down,” Ruggles said. “I was coming into the game with the mindset I knew (the Chargers) were going to playing zone. I was going to be ready to put it up if I was open. They were falling tonight.”
Ruggles’ opening 3-pointer concluded a 5-point Wheaton Academy run to begin the game, and ACC never came closer than 4 points the rest of the game.
The junior guard from Wheaton hit four 3-pointers in the opening half while augmenting his 18-point half with a pair of conventional field goals and an equal number of free throws.
The only field goals from inside the arc came on a breakaway layup after a steal at half-court and a baseline 13-foot jumper.
Ty Collins’ free-throw line jumper gave Wheaton Academy a 37-22 lead at the break as ACC shot 25 percent (7-for-28) in the opening half.
“We couldn’t throw it in the ocean tonight,” ACC coach Nate Drye said.
Ruggles then ended all pretense of a close contest with his 5-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half.
ACC (3-16, 1-6) never reduced its game-long deficit by less than 14 points.
Wheaton Academy (14-7, 7-0) remained undefeated in league play.
“(Ruggles is) a special kid if he gets it going,” Wheaton Academy coach Pete Froedden said. “He’s a special player and has a special talent. We have seen that (type of perimeter shooting) a lot.”
“It’s nice when you have someone when you kick it out to him, he’s going to make the shot,” Fuzak said. “We were confident he was going to make those shots.”
Drye has the final say on Ruggles’ personal onslaught.
“We helped him a lot by leaving him wide open,” Drye said. “I’m disappointed. That was the only (defensive) breakdown we had. Obviously, it was the difference in the game.”
Jake Lindstedt scored 10 points as the Warriors’ fifth man off the bench.
Ten players scored in all for ACC, but reserve but Andy Czerak was the only player in double figures with 10 points.