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Girls basketball: Walther Lutheran too strong for Aurora Central

AurorCentral's Alex Hortis fouled by Walther Lutheran's DanTurner Friday Aurora. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

Aurora Central's Alex Horton is fouled by Walther Lutheran's Dana Turner Friday in Aurora. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 22, 2012 12:06AM

Aurora Central Catholic had its hands full, going against an experienced and talented Walther Lutheran squad.

In their previous game, the visiting Broncos had incurred one of their three losses at powerful Montini — by only four points. That was the deficit Aurora Central faced entering the fourth quarter, but Walther grabbed control down the stretch and won 57-52 in a Suburban Christian Blue matchup.

“What I saw was a bunch of sophomores growing up today,” ACC coach Mark Fitzgerald said of Alex Horton, Kalie Soris, and Gabi Alfaro. “There’s no such thing as a good loss, but we put out a good effort. We have a lot of good things in the future with this group.”

ACC’s Lisa Rodriguez led all scorers with 20 points, but the Broncos simply had more weapons on the offensive end. And Walther Lutheran’s zone defense, which it employed from start to finish, was most effective in the early part of the fourth quarter when the Chargers were trying to come back.

Leading 44-40 to start the final period, Walther committed a turnover but then got buckets by Dana Turner, MaSayla Kirksy and Isimeme Edeko to push the lead to 50-40.

Horton (16 points, nine rebounds) stemmed the tide with a three-point play and a short jumper. But those were the only points scored by ACC until the final 90 seconds, and the Broncos made enough free throws to maintain a comfortable margin.

Edeko, a 5-foot-9 senior, was a force for the Broncos (8-3, 3-1). She averages a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds per game, but easily topped her averages by pouring in 19 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Edeko simply had more energy than anyone on the floor, as evidenced by her nine offensive boards.

“She’s not the strongest player for her size, but she can leap and she is very active,” Walther Lutheran coach Todd Fisher said. “When she can get her own rebound on a free throw, that shows how quick she is.”

Still, the lead was within four points most of the way as point guard Soris ran a steady offensive attack, committing only two turnovers while playing the whole game against a challenging Bronco defense.

Rodriguez hit two of her three three-pointers in the third period to help keep her team close. In the end, the Broncos’ active zone defense and rebounding proved to be the difference, as Aurora Central fell to 5-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

Rodriguez added six rebounds and four steals to her point total. For the balanced Broncos, Ebony Sykes contributed 12 points and Kirksy added 11.

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