2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/22/2018 7:29 PM

Top-ranked Aurora Christian flying high behind the Wolfe brothers

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  • Jake Wolfe

    Jake Wolfe

  • Will Wolfe

    Will Wolfe

 
 

Here's a quick quiz for you -- name the area's only remaining unbeaten high school boys basketball team.

Need a hint?

It is a team that competes in the Northeastern Athletic Conference and stands atop the latest AP and MaxPreps state rankings among Class 1A schools.

The answer is Aurora Christian.

Led by the Wolfe brothers -- Jake and Will -- and sophomore guard Taaj Davis, the high-flying Eagles have soared to a 16-0 record heading into Tuesday night's contest at Westminster Christian, a game that will determine the sole leader in the NAC.

Although their fast start is special, Eagles' second-year head coach Dan Beebe admits there are bigger plans ahead.

"We've got a tough stretch coming with games against Westminster, IC Prep, Oswego East (at the Ernie Kivisto Shootout -- East Aurora), Winnebago and Wheaton Academy," said Beebe.

"We're not really concerned with being unbeaten. We want a strong finish."

If the Wolfe brothers have their way, the Eagles might just find themselves playing important games in March at Peoria's Carver Arena.

A year ago, Jake Wolfe earned IBCA Second Team All-State honors after averaging 18.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5 assists per game as the Eagles (21-9) advanced to the Class 1A sectional finals before losing 54-47 to Newark.

The 6-foot-4 ½-inch senior guard is even better this season.

"The scary part to me is that he's one of our most improved players this season," said Beebe. "He has become a great player.

"His body control around the basket and ability to finish have improved. That is a testament to his work in the weight room. Defenders are bouncing off him now.

"On the defensive end, his rebounding is better. He has the ability to guard any team's best offensive player no matter the position they play."

Admittedly, Jake has taken it upon himself to become a better leader.

"I felt like I was a leader last year but I didn't feel I led the way I could of," said the Lipscomb University-bound Wolfe, who averages more than 20 points per game for the Eagles.

"I think I've stepped forward both on and off the court."

Wolfe, who has displayed seemingly unlimited shooting range at times, spent much of the off-season fine-tuning his game.

"I worked on everything but I tried to focus on my jump shot -- to make it as consistent as I can," he said.

With Jake's keen ability to take the ball to the rim, it is literally pick your poison for opponents when he's knocking down 3-pointers.

Jake's younger brother, Will, has also elevated his game.

Will, a sophomore who grew a few inches this past year, now stands 6-6 and possesses the skills of a backcourt player.

Together, the Wolfe brothers have made life miserable on opponents.

Just ask Harvest Christian coach Bryan Bradshaw.

Earlier this season, the Wolfe brothers combined to outscore the entire Harvest Christian team before being pulled with the Eagles owning a comfortable 70-43 advantage during their eventual 75-59 victory at the Burney Wilkie Classic.

Jake led the Eagles with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals while Will added 23 points, including six 3-pointers, and 7 rebounds.

"They are two outstanding basketball players," Bradshaw said to the Daily Herald's John Lemon last month. "They can drive and shoot. You try to slow them down and take away their ability to drive and make it as difficult as possible."

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Wolfe brothers excel on the basketball court.

Their dad, Todd, was a high school standout at Arlington and Prospect high schools before playing 4 years for legendary coach Jud Heathcote at Michigan State.

The 6-5 guard finished his career with 536 points, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc (53 of 121), while playing with the likes of Steve Smith, Darryl Johnson and Matt Steigenga.

"I've learned a lot from him and continue to learn a lot from him," Jake said of his dad, who serves as an Aurora Christian assistant coach and is the owner-founder of Supreme Courts LLC, a basketball facility in Aurora.

"My dad doesn't come to practices because of his job (at Supreme Courts) but he does a good job helping the team and the bench."

This isn't the first time that Jake has been able to play high school basketball with one of his brothers.

As a freshman, Jake played alongside then-senior brother, Wes.

"Playing as a freshman on varsity is always fun but it was even better because I got to play with Wes," said Jake.

During his 4-year career, the Eagles own an 82-22 record.

"The four years have blown by so fast," said Jake. "I've made some great memories."

And there's plenty of time to make some more.

"Since we started working out last August, it has always been about that final destination," said Jake.

Craig Brueske can be reached at csb4k@hotmail.com

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