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St. Charles East overpowers East Aurora

East Aurora's Darren Warren drives basket around St. Charles East's Kendall Stephens Monday. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media

East Aurora's Darren Warren drives to the basket around St. Charles East's Kendall Stephens on Monday. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 21, 2012 6:11AM

East Aurora was able to hang with host St. Charles East for about half of a quarter during Monday’s game in the 54th Annual Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament.

The Tomcats trailed just 8-7 with 4:36 left in the first quarter, but the Saints didn’t take long to heat up as they closed the half on a 42-11 run. They would cruise in the second half to win, 76-46.

“They came out liked they’ve been playing in this gym for awhile,” East Aurora coach Wendell Jeffries said. “They just caught fire. They had nine (three-pointers at halftime and that’s tough when they shoot the lights out, but at the same time we’ve got to play better defense.”

St. Charles East (1-0) turned their 8-7 lead into a 23-7 advantage by scoring 14 straight points. They did most of their damage from beyond the three-point arc as Dom Adduci (21 points) connected twice before Kendall Stephens (15 points) delivered.

“I thought in the first half they were real sharp distributing the ball well, shooting good and playing solid defense,” St. Charles East coach Patrick Woods said. “We had some size on them, but missed some easy ones early. But, the first half was definitely a great start.”

DeJon Talbert (17 points) drained five three-pointers to lead the Tomcats, while Jonathan Villezcas added 16 points and 9 rebounds.

“We’re a whole better team than we showed tonight,” Jeffries said. “We saw glimpses of that in the second half when we executed some things. We’re going to win our share of games this year, but give St. Charles (East) credit. They played a great home opener.”

East Aurora (0-1) reduced its deficit to 60-39 a couple minutes into the fourth quarter on pair of free throws by Villezcas, but would never get any closer. The Tomcats didn’t have many second chance opportunities as they were outrebounded by a substantial, 45-26 margin.

“They’re big, they’re long and they share the ball and play well as a team,” Jeffries said. “Everyone talks about (Kendall) Stephens, but they’ve got a lot of guys and are a good basketball team.”

East Aurora resumes tournament play on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against St. Joseph.

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