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Boys Basketball: St. Edward staves off Aurora Christian

St. Edward's Nick Duffy shoots over AurorChristian's JohnathHarrell. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

St. Edward's Nick Duffy shoots over Aurora Christian's Johnathon Harrell. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 1, 2012 4:50PM

St. Edward boys basketball coach P.J. White had been waiting for his team to show some intensity during the Burney Wilkie Tournament at Aurora Christian all week.

The Green Wave finally showed White what he wanted to see, and it turned out that they needed to keep it up the entire game to pull out a win over the hosts from Aurora Christian.

St. Edward jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game, but that turned out to be the game’s largest lead. The Green Wave had to survive five three-point attempts from the Eagles in the final minutes to survive a 59-54 win.

“We talked about it before the game, every year, Aurora Christian shoots threes,” White said. “We knew they were going to shoot threes. We just had to withstand some of the runs they were going to make and we had to play with some intensity. For the first time in this tournament, we played with a lot of emotion and intensity for the whole game. I was happy with our overall play.”

Five points from Antonio Domel fueled the game’s opening 9-0 run for St. Edward (7-1). But Aurora Christian (2-1) was hot from three-point range the whole night and never let the lead get into double digits. Cory Windle’s alley-oop dunk a minute into the second quarter tied the game at 15-15, but the Eagles were never able to get the lead all night.

The game was tied five different times in the second quarter, but St. Edward closed the half on a 6-0 run and scored the opening bucket of the third quarter to push the lead back out to 34-26. But Christian was 7-for-12 from three-point range through three quarters, including four threes off the bench from Haydn McNellis, to keep the Eagles in the game.

“Haydn gave us a nice lift off the bench and (Ryan) McQuade got us back into the game late,” Christian coach Pat McNamara said. “I just think that during the course of the game we didn’t execute real well. That’s the big thing. That’s stuff that we should be doing, that we know. Tomorrow is another night. We have to come back against Montini.”

The Green Wave led by nine with 3:29 left in the game, but the Eagles mounted another comeback. A McNelis steal and layup was sandwiched around a pair of McQuade three-pointers to cut the lead to 57-54 with 2:06 left. But the Eagles missed their final five three-point attempts in the final minutes to end the comeback attempt.

“They had like three wide open looks,” St. Edward senior Adrian Ponce said. “My heart was sinking. I’m glad we came out with the win.”

Domel led all scorers with 21 for St. Edward. Nick Duffy added 17 and Ponce had 16 points and 11 rebounds. McNelis led the Eagles with 14 points off the bench. McQuade added 12.

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