Girls Basketball: Aurora Christian seeing improvement
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media December 2, 2012 5:42PM
Aurora Christian's Alyssa Andersen gets a shot off over the outstretched hands of Harvest Christian defender Carol Kaufmann. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 10:41PM
Aurora Christian’s girls basketball team may have lost its Suburban Christian opener against Marian Central in Woodstock Saturday, but the Eagles are well on their way to their goals this season.
The 58-55 loss was full of positives, such as junior Alyssa Andersen’s game-high 22 points and 20 rebounds from Natasha Brown, who has established herself as one of the area’s best rebounders in the early going. At 4-3 overall, the Eagles are hoping to continue the progression from 7-19 to 11-15 to over .500 in coach Jerry Tokars’ third season at the helm.
“It’s the culture,” Tokars said. “We’re shooting for above .500 and conference and who knows after that.”
Andersen is a great place to start. Now healthy after dealing with a back injury over the summer, she has been one of the area’s breakout players early this season.
“I was out for a few months over the summer because of my back, but I’m feeling a lot better now,” Andersen said. “I have a lot of things to work on, but I’m feeling pretty good.”
The Eagles host Chicago Christian Wednesday and travel to St. Francis Friday.
Waubonsie Valley has won eight regional titles since 2003, but things have been rough in the early going in coach Dave Owles’ first season thus far.
Saturday’s loss to rival Neuqua Valley dropped the Warriors to 0-7 overall and 0-2 in the Upstate Eight Valley. Waubonsie lost four starters to graduation and another, Gratia Brooks, to a move to Georgia. The Warriors are one of the youngest teams in the area, but have had a couple of good chances for wins.
The season opener against Oswego ended on an Amri Wilder buzzer-beater to give the Panthers the win. Friday against South Elgin, the Warriors suffered a narrow loss despite allowing 30 more field goal attempts in the game.
Neuqua coach Mike Williams can sympathize.
“They’re a young team,” Williams said. “They’re going to be OK. They’re well-coached. Dave does a good job with them. He’s going through some growing pains. We all have been there. It all goes in cycles.”
Fruendt on fire
Batavia is off to a 4-3 start to the season, led mostly by the exploits of junior Liza Fruendt.
A first-team Beacon-News All-Area selection as a sophomore, she is throwing her hat in the ring for Player of the Year in the early going.
She was an all-tournament selection at Morton last week and then followed that performance with the two best scoring games of her career. She set a career high with 26 points in a 57-47 win over St. Charles North in the Upstate Eight River opener Tuesday. She tied that mark in Friday’s 60-56 loss to rival Geneva. Fruendt has scored 137 points in seven games thus far this season.