2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/1/2017 10:28 PM

West Aurora rolls over Andrew

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

There is more than one way to score in a boys basketball game.

At the Class 4A Plainfield North regional semifinal Wednesday night, West Aurora clearly demonstrated the staggering influence of second-chance points.

After building a 9-point halftime lead, the Blackhawks had eight second- and third-chance opportunities to score against Andrew in the third quarter alone.

West Aurora made the Thunderbolts pay far more than once for their inability to clear their defensive glass.

The Blackhawks will face Neuqua Valley (15-15) Friday night in Plainfield after a convincing 57-43 victory.

West Aurora (20-8), the fifth seed of the Lincoln-Way East sectional complex, handled Neuqua Valley (15-15) handily at the teams' Thanksgiving tournament.

Andrew bowed out with a .500 record (14-14).

"In the second half we did a great job of getting second-chance points," West Aurora coach Brian Johnson said of the Blackhawks' Camron Donatlan, Jared Crutcher and Damian Virgen scoring off putbacks to open the third quarter.

"That helped us a ton because we weren't hitting our shots. We had to find alternative ways to score."

West Aurora sixth-man Travon Avery had yet another productive game off the bench.

The senior had the last of his 8 points midway through the Blackhawks' 20-point quarter to give West Aurora its largest lead of the game at 43-27.

Virgen and Caleb Siler were the compelling offensive storylines for West Aurora as the two paced the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Virgen did the majority of his damage in the second half as the junior guard had 13 of his team-high points after halftime.

Siler was largely responsible for the Blackhawks' 25-16 advantage at the break with his deadly array of pull-up jumpers accounting for his first 10 points.

"(I) was just trying to bring high energy to the team and get a bigger lead on Andrew," Virgen said. "Box out, get the rebound and get up court (was our game plan)."

"(Virgen) plays like he is 6-10," Johnson said.

"We had to set the tone early," Siler said. "I just took advantage of their defense and created my shot."

With three all-state track athletes -- Donatlan and senior twins DaQuan and Davion Cross -- on the roster, the Blackhawks' collective athleticism, also framed by the freakish shot-blocking ability of Crutcher -- bedeviled Andrew the entire game.

"It really bothered us," Andrew coach Andrew Wilson said of the West Aurora players' quickness and jumping abilities. "They overwhelmed us with it. They got second and third shots on a regular basis.

Crutcher was the third Blackhawk in double figures with 10 points.

Krutilla had a game-high 17 points for Andrew.

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