The twin daggers came with roughly five minutes to play.
Aurora Central Catholic, in its first girls basketball Elite Eight appearance, was on its way to Normal after Jackie Cardona and Ashley Wilk had back-to-back 3-point plays in the Class 2A Concordia University supersectional Monday night in River Forest.
The Chargers' convincing 58-29 victory over Chicago Raby earned the program a date with Quincy Notre Dame in the first semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Illinois State University.
The encounter will mark the first appearance by an ACC team in the Final Four since the baseball program was state runner-up at the 1983 Class A tournament.
Raby had its campaign end at 18-7.
"We came in knowing that they were similar to the teams we have been playing," said Wilk who led four starters in double figures with 14 points and 13 rebounds. "We know how to beat those types of teams."
Returning to the blueprint of its sectional final win over St. Francis de Sales last week, Aurora Central (25-6) scored the first 6 points and never looked back.
Cardona, Wilk and Tesa Alderman all scored in transition to begin the game for Aurora
Central, which dominated the game in every statistical category.
Raby failed to score in double figures in any of the four quarters, and Aurora Central limited the Raiders to 9-for-44 field-goal shooting (21 percent) for the game.
To make matters worse for Raby, its players were clearly pressing with questionable shot selection.
"The bad shot selection was because of nerves," Raby coach Fredrick Eaton said.
Alderman, the Kaneland transfer, scored twice in succession as Aurora Central snared its first of several double-digit cushions by scoring 12 of the first 14 points.
Cardona went to the pines after picking up her second foul early in the second quarter, but the Chargers only expanded their lead with their floor general temporarily sidelined.
"We got the momentum early, and our momentum didn't stop," said Cardona, who enters the state finals 40 points from the all-time program benchmark. "We came prepared. We want to go all the way to the state finals."
Zhane Alexander scored to bring the Public League schoolalso making its Elite Eight debut within 17-12 early in the second quarter, but the distinction proved to be as close as the Raiders would come to making it a contest.
Wilk had another 3-point play, and her field goal in the last half-minute gave the Chargers a 26-12 halftime lead.
Raby tried to quicken the pace with a full-court press, but one of the defining characteristics of this current ACC edition is its ball control.
With a mere turnover in the first quarter, ACC would have only 11 miscues on the night.
"We work on that very hard," Aurora Central coach Mark Fitzgerald said. "We preach (a) team (concept). Teams will beat individuals every time."
Aurora Central erupted for 22 fourth-quarter points to cement the once-sided game.
Cardona finished with 12 points, while Alex DeCrane had 11 and Alderman had 10.
Undersized post Katilyn Rosa had 8 points and 13 rebounds.
"Cardone is a special player," Eaton said.
"We knew right away from the beginning that we had this (potential)," reserve guard Kelli Klein said.
Adrianna Eaton had 9 points to lead Raby.
Aurora Central Catholic High School
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