Aurora Christian dominates Westminster
The Westminster Christian boys basketball team isn't too shabby.
Led by 1,000-point scorers Ben Versluys and Jorden Warrener, the Warriors entered Tuesday's home game in Elgin tied for the Northeastern Athletic Conference lead with a 6-0 league mark, 14-4 overall.
Yet, Aurora Christian, the top-ranked team in Class 1A, snapped that first-place tie by separating from the Warriors like they were facing a non-contender.
The Eagles took a 12-6 lead after a quarter and moved to a 27-15 halftime advantage as sophomore Will Wolfe hit a shot from the corner before the buzzer for 3 of his career-high 28 points.
Then they really turned up the heat.
Aurora Christian (17-0, 7-0) forced 8 third-quarter turnovers, including a stretch of 4 turnovers in as many possessions, to outscore the Warriors 17-9 and take a 20-point lead to the final period on the way to a 67-37 win.
Versluys averages 19 points and Warrener 13. Versluys was held to 7 points and 4 rebounds by 6-foot-6 Lipscomb-bound senior Jake Wolfe and Warrener was limited to 8 points by 6-1 sophomore Taaj Davis.
"I absolutely love these types of games where you're grinding it out defensively and our kids are battling each and every possession," Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe said. "I think we did a great job on Warrener and Versulys, who are two very good offensive players."
"We came in knowing we wanted to defend the crap out of them so that's what we did," Jake Wolfe said. "I think we were really energetic. We fed off each other."
Will Wolfe turned many of those turnovers into points, including a third-quarter stretch in which he sank three straight 3-point attempts. He sank five 3-pointers in the game.
"Whenever I caught the ball I just felt I could make the shots," he said.
The victory doesn't guarantee the NAC title for the Eagles but it gives them the inside track with three league games remaining.
So what's it like to be the state's top-ranked team and undefeated in late January?
"We're having a lot of fun," Jake Wolfe said. "You could probably tell tonight. We had a lot of energy. It's just really fun with these guys playing because we all know it's not about one of us. We're just trying to make it downstate. That's the goal."
Jake Wolfe finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Davis added 8 points for Aurora Christian, which hosts Alden-Hebron on Thursday and IC Catholic Prep on Saturday.