Aurora Christian rolls to regional title
Aurora Christian hit two major milestones this season, winning the Metro Suburban Conference title with a perfect 12-0 record and crowning a new scoring leader, Anna Griffin.
Now the Eagles are aiming for a goal that no other Aurora Christian girls basketball team has ever achieved -- win a sectional game.
Aurora Christian beat Indian Creek 74-31 to win the Class 1A Harvest Christian regional Thursday night, its sixth in school history to secure a berth in next week's Putnam County sectional.
"Going downstate is the goal but winning a sectional game is a nice thing to get," Aurora Christian coach Burney Wilkie said.
"After the first time we played them, I actually told the girls that they are probably the best team in 1A," said Indian Creek coach Paul Muchmore. "And I still think that and I wouldn't be surprised if they win the state title."
The Eagles will face St. Bede, a team they beat 72-18 in December, in the first sectional semifinal game on Monday.
Although Aurora Christian (27-4) had beaten Indian Creek twice this year, Wilkie had some concerns about facing them for a third time.
"I can't tell you how many times I told friends today that Indian Creek was the one team I didn't want to see in the sub-sectional," said Wilkie. "(Indian Creek player Brooke) Heiman is so good. She is an elite scorer. I think she scored 22 and 29 against us previously."
He was also worried when Griffin, fellow starter Kendall Carter and top reserve Mia Richert got into foul trouble in the first half.
"Foul trouble has been an issue for us this year," Wilkie said. "I was pretty disappointed when three of our top six had two a piece (in the first half)."
Thaya Luse and Aspen Weeks picked up the slack. Luse scored 12 of her 18 points in the first two quarters. The sophomore also pulled down nine rebounds.
Nine of Weeks' 11 points were scored in the first half. The freshman guard was also credited with five steals.
"Just working together helped a lot," Luse said "Passing and swinging the ball around like we do helps to get a lot of people open."
The Timberwolves (14-18) were having their own issues -- they could not get their offense on track. They were held to one basket in the first quarter, a 3-pointer by Kate Cassidy (eight points) with 1:03 left in the period, to trail 17-3 after the first eight minutes.
"We were trying to get some backdoor cuts," Muchmore said. "When we got them, the girls just didn't execute well and we kind of threw the ball away."
Heiman scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the second quarter but the Eagles still had a 37-13 advantage at halftime.
Aurora Christian increased its margin to 58-27 by the end of the third quarter. Lexi Lamanna scored seven of her 18 points in the period.
Griffin finished the night with 14 points.