2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/20/2018 11:22 PM

Romeoville no match for West Aurora

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

The Ben Young collaboration with Jared Crutcher was a textbook way to close out the first half for West Aurora.

In the finale of the When Sides Collide Shootout at Glenbard East Saturday night, Young fed Crutcher with a room-service feed off a back cut.

"I just finished it," Crutcher said.

The West Aurora post finished the layup to give the Blackhawks' boys basketball team a 20-point lead at the break.

The Blackhawks had the luxury to trade field goals with Romeoville the entire second half in cruising to a 75-52 victory in Lombard.

"Before the start of the game, (coach Brian Johnson) talked about executing," said Crutcher, who had 13 of his game-high 20 points in the opening half as West Aurora led 36-16 at the break. "We had to execute our plays."

West Aurora (14-4) went into overdrive in the second quarter with star guard Camron Donatlan anchored to the pines.

One night after torching Bartlett for 36 points, Donatlan was relegated to being a first-half observer after picking up two fouls in less than three minutes.

"We were able to save Donatlan quite a bit in that first half because we got the lead," Johnson said. "There was no rush to get him back in the game."

The Blackhawks scored 24 of the last 31 points of the first half as the Spartans (16-4) missed 15 of their last 20 shots before the intermission.

Young, Traevon Brown and Moshe Rogers all hit 3-pointers in the second quarter; Crutcher added three inside scores in the second.

Crutcher had extra motivation after fouling out of the Blackhawks' last two Upstate Eight Valley home games.

"I thought it was a fresh start," Crutcher said. "I just took charge and played."

Romeoville more than doubled its first-half output in the third quarter alone, but West Aurora only increased its lead with 23 points in the third.

Damian Virgen added to his reputation for scoring in bunches.

The senior southpaw scored 7 of his 13 points on three consecutive trips in the third quarter.

"We were playing as a team," Virgen said. "We were sharing the ball."

With Romeoville also gambling to get back in the game, Brown was able to exploit the Spartans' overplays with 15 points for West Aurora.

Donatlan -- like he did Friday against Bartlett -- had another vicious third-quarter tip dunk in scoring all 8 of his points after halftime.

"That was probably our best overall game in terms of playing as a team," Johnson said.

Romeoville coach Marc Howard was more concerned with the postseason repercussions of the loss.

"(This game) was big-time impact on the sectional seeding," Howard said. "I just felt like West Aurora had way more energy. They beat us to loose balls. They were quicker than us in their cuts."

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