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Boys basketball: East Aurora set to host annual holiday tournament

East Aurora’s Jonathan Villezcas (left) pulls down rebound during Dec. 15 game Bartlett. | JCunningham~For Sun-Times Media

East Aurora’s Jonathan Villezcas (left) pulls down a rebound during a Dec. 15 game at Bartlett. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media

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East Aurora Holiday

Red Division: Belvidere North, East Aurora, Oswego East, Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.)

Black Division: Aurora Central, Geneva, Neuqua Valley, Peoria Central

Wednesday’s games

Neuqua Valley vs.
Geneva, 3 p.m.

Peoria Central vs.
Aurora Central, 4:30 p.m.

Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.) vs. Oswego East, 6:15 p.m.

East Aurora vs. Belvidere North, 7:45 p.m.

Thursday’s games

Geneva vs.
Peoria Central, 3 p.m.

Aurora Central vs. Neuqua Valley, 4:30 p.m.

Belvidere North vs.
Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.), 6:15 p.m.

East Aurora vs.
Oswego East, 7:45 p.m.

Friday’s games

Oswego East vs.
Belvidere North, 3 p.m.

Geneva vs. Aurora
Central, 4:30 p.m.

Peoria Central vs. Neuqua Valley, 6:15 p.m.

East Aurora vs.
Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.), 7:45 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Seventh place, 3 p.m.

Fifth place, 4:30 p.m.

Third place, 6:15 p.m.

Championship, 7:45 p.m.

Updated: January 26, 2013 6:21AM

Defending Class 3A state champion Peoria Central returns this week to defend its title at the 47th annual East Aurora Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament, but a pair of 10-win teams — Geneva and Neuqua Valley — are the headliners.

The eight-team pool play event also features area teams Aurora Central and Oswego East, as well as the hosts.

Geneva enters at 10-1 and squares off with Todd Sutton’s 10-0 Neuqua Valley team, which is new to the field, in the tournament opener Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Vikings coach Phil Ralston called Friday’s 51-40 win over Upstate Eight River foe St. Charles North “our signature game so far this year.”

Sophomore Nate Navigato, who has emerged as a force for Geneva, again led the way on offense with 18 points, but Chris Parrilli helped lead a strong defensive effort that limited North standout Quinten Payne to just six points.

“East (Aurora) will give us a chance to play closer to home, and hopefully get more fans at our games,” Sutton said. “They have always run a great tourney and we are excited to play some different teams.”

Neuqua Valley and Geneva are joined in the Black Division pool by 6-3 Aurora Central and Peoria Central, which lost its top five scorers to graduation from last year’s 28-3 team.

“I know (Peoria Central is) off to a slow start this year, but they’ve won this tournament three years in a row,” East Aurora coach Wendell Jeffries said. “They’ve won it every year they’ve been here.”

The Lions dropped a 65-54 decision to Peoria Notre Dame Friday in Mid-State 6 play and fell to 1-6 on the season.

“It was more us than them,” Central coach Dan Ruffin told the Peoria Journal Star. “We were doing things we’re not supposed to do — we don’t recover, don’t get back, don’t rebound and don’t help. We didn’t play well enough to win the game.”

Oswego East, which downed Romeoville for its first win of the season last Friday, and East Aurora, which got its second win by beating South Elgin, are joined by Belvidere North and Pleasure Ridge Park of Louisville, Ky., in the Red Division pool.

“Pleasure Ridge finished third here last year,” Jeffries said. “I don’t know much about them but their coach told me they’re supposed to be good this year.”

The Tomcats will play the final game Wednesday through Friday, tipping off at about 7:45 p.m., with the placing games on Saturday determined by pool results.

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