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Article updated: 3/12/2014 11:58 PM
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Geneva knocks out West Aurora
 

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Geneva knocks out West Aurora
  • Geneva's Chris Parrilli, facing, hugs teammate Pace Temple after making the game-winning shot in the Vikings' 70-68 win over West Aurora Wednesday night at East Aurora.

    Purchase Photo | Geneva's Chris Parrilli, facing, hugs teammate Pace Temple after making the game-winning shot in the Vikings' 70-68 win over West Aurora Wednesday night at East Aurora. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Laura Stoecker/lstoecker@dailyherald.com  West Aurora’s Carleton Williams, left, holds the head of teammate Jontrell Walker as they exit the court after losing to Geneva at the Class 4A sectional in Aurora on Wednesday, March 12.

    Laura Stoecker/lstoecker@dailyherald.com West Aurora’s Carleton Williams, left, holds the head of teammate Jontrell Walker as they exit the court after losing to Geneva at the Class 4A sectional in Aurora on Wednesday, March 12.

 

Chris Parrilli literally made a basket for the ages.

The Geneva senior guard's 8-foot fadeaway from the right side with less than four seconds to play gave the Vikings a 70-68 victory over West Aurora at Wednesday's Class 4A East Aurora sectional semifinal.

The sixth-seeded Vikings have a chance at their first sectional title in 51 years, since their downstate season of 1962-63. Geneva (25-5) moves to the 7 p.m. sectional Friday against No. 1 seed Benet (22-7).

"It was something special," said Parrilli, rolled gauze stuck in his left nostril after getting bashed and bloodied early in the fourth quarter. "I just really just felt it, it was wide open so I really just knew I had to come up and knock it down."

Off the penetration and assist from point guard Cam Cook it was patented Parrilli, a shot Vikings junior forward Nate Navigato had seen before.

"Right when he threw it to him I knew it was going in," said Navigato, who led all scorers with 23 points. "If he were to miss -- which I knew he wasn't -- I was going to get the rebound. And he just shot that up and it was in. It was awesome, so happy for him."

What Geneva coach Phil Ralston calls his "equal-opportunity offense" clicked at the most opportune time. West Aurora (24-5) led 62-56 with 3:11 to play when Navigato made a baby hook followed by the rare West Aurora turnover. The Blackhawks made just 5 on the night -- but 2 in the last three minutes -- and Geneva 6.

Cook, who had scored 2 points till that point, took a Pace Temple feed and canned a 3 from the right corner. Cook then rebounded a West Aurora miss, was fouled and sank 2 free throws for a 63-62 Vikings lead with 1:45 left to play.

"In that situation off that set that we ran, Cam was one of the options in it. He was wide open, it's a good shot. Thank God he shoots it, makes it, and puts us in a position to win," Ralston said.

West Aurora took a brief lead at 64-63 on a pair of Jontrell Walker free throws, but Navigato countered inside and the Blackhawks never led again. Two clutch free throws West Aurora's cool Tommy Koth tied the score at 68-68 with 13.2 seconds left.

After Parrilli's game-winner, Walker caught Matt Dunn's baseball pass at midcourt, veered right across the timeline and was short on a 38-foot shot.

"It was a close game all the way through. It came down to execution, and defense. Defense was the main part of this game," said Walker, whose 19 points ended his career as West's all-time leader with 1,772.

"I wanted to make a mark. Hopefully I did that. My season's over," he said.

Walker also went 8-for-8 from the foul line to finish 151 of 167 on the season and establish a new West Aurora single-season free-throw mark. While he added to his season (77) and career (189) 3-point program records, after hitting his first 3 on his first shot Geneva's Temple did not allow a second while Temple also scored 19 points.

"Great on-the-ball defender, against a great athlete that's going to be playing next year, Division I basketball," Ralston said. "In crunchtime, (Temple) made him work for every point he had to get."

"You know," Temple said, "he's a great scorer and they've got some real good athletes. We like to consider ourselves a pretty good defensive team all the way around, not just one guy. We threw a lot at him, a lot of different guys.

"We were able to pull it out. He's a great player, they all are, but we got the best of it, kept the magic going," said the junior guard.

Temple and West Aurora junior forward Roland Griffin had the magic early. Temple scored 11 first-quarter points while Griffin made his first 4 shots to get Geneva out of zone defense and into a man-to-man. Two of Griffin's shots were 3s, and he scored 12 of his team-high 21 points in a first quarter West Aurora led 20-17.

Geneva made 8 of 13 second-quarter shots to lead 37-34 at halftime, only to see West Aurora go 8-of-14 for a 51-49 lead entering the fourth. Down to the wire, as expected.

"Really close, fighting, physical," Navigato said. "It's just gonna come down to one or two plays, and it went towards us."








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