2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/19/2018 11:28 PM

Donatlan’s 36 carry West Aurora past Bartlett

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

It was as if Camron Donatlan and Tomas Vikonis were in the West Aurora gym by themselves during the third quarter of a tense Upstate Eight Valley boys basketball game.

Were it not for West Aurora post Jared Crutcher and Bartlett forward Ben Fisher chipping in a lone field goal each, Donatlan and Vikonis would have been the only players to score in the third.

The two seniors both had career nights, but it was Donatlan, the Blackhawks' two-time defending track high jump state champion and Wyoming football recruit, who powered West Aurora to a 67-59 victory with 36 points on 15-for-20 shooting from the field.

Vikonis had to "settle" for a mere 30 in leading the Hawks in Aurora.

Both coaches were simply enjoying the show.

"That was good basketball," Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said of Donatlan (11 points) and Vikonis scoring 21 of the combined 25 points in the third quarter. "It's never odd (to see that) when you have two elite-level athletes playing in the same game."

Donatlan once again displayed his raw athleticism in leading West Aurora to perfect 5-0 record at the mid-mark of the league slate.

"Camron was definitely feeling his game today," Wolfsmith said. "The kid is an Olympic-level athlete. He got himself in the lane and elevated over everyone else out there."

Vikonis drained five 3-pointers while also slashing inside to score 17 of his team-high points in the second half.

" (Vikonis) is a really nice player," West Aurora coach Brian Johnson said. "He is athletic, he is strong. It was two good players exchanging buckets."

Donatlan, after scoring 14 first-half points to help West Aurora (13-4 overall) forge a 31-31 lead at halftime, had a nefarious tip-dunk off a Crutcher miss to end the third quarter.

On the Blackhawks' opening two possessions of the fourth quarter, Donatlan hit an old-fashioned set-shot 3-pointer and extended his personal team run to 14 points with a floater.

"Only in middle school," Donatlan said of the last time he had such a consecutive run of points. "My coaches were telling me to flash in the paint, and my teammates would be looking for me. You have to prove it every night as a senior. (On the tip dunk) my natural instinct as an athlete was to go up and get it."

Donatlan would score another 11 points in the fourth quarter as part of his career-best effort.

With two minutes and 16 seconds to play, Donatlan had a 3-point play.

West Aurora guard Traevon Brown (11 points) made it a 5-point possession when a Bartlett player was whistled for a technical foul.

The Hawks never came closer than 7 points afterward.

"It was fun going back and forth (against Donatlan)," Vikonis said. "I wish we would have got some more stops, and it was just me scoring instead of him."

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