Aurora Central Catholic starts fast, knocks out Johnsburg
Host Aurora Central Catholic's full-court pressure rattled Johnsburg from the start of Monday's Class 2A regional opener.
The Chargers forced 7 first-quarter turnovers, jumped to a 9-point lead, then sank shots from the perimeter to run away with a 57-32 victory.
No. 7 seed ACC (13-18) drained four 3-pointers in the second quarter while outscoring the Skyhawks 23-8. The highlight was a three-possession sequence with threes from Colin Dean, Danny Cwinski and Dylan Bryant.
"We wanted to bring the pressure to them right away, get off to a good start and just progress from there," said Bryant, who led all scorers with 23 points.
When the Chargers did not press, they played 2-3 zone defense to great effect. No. 9 Johnsburg (8-24) did not make a 3-point shot until the fourth quarter.
"We got looks when we finally figured out how to break the press, but we couldn't hit a shot," Skyhawks coach Mike Toussaint said. "We couldn't buy one. And we just panicked against their pressure. I thought we were ready for it. We just didn't execute."
Johnsburg committed 18 turnovers against varied schemes but the first eight minutes against full-court pressure set the tone.
"That forced them to play faster than they wanted to and that was probably the difference," ACC coach Nate Drye said. "We got out ahead and it built. Our guys got confidence and they got deflated. It just rolled downhill from there."
The Chargers advance to a regional semifinal against No. 2 Marengo (26-3) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
"They're solid," Drye said. "I'm glad it's at our place. We've played good teams all year just to put ourselves in this position, so we're definitely looking forward to it."
Dean finished with 10 points and Cwinski added 7 points for ACC.
Senior guard David Claudio led Johnsburg with 11 points and senior Joey Comstock added 8 points.