Girls basketball: Aurora Christian stays in conference race
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media January 28, 2013 6:04PM
Aurora Christian's Alyssa Andersen puts up a shot against three Rosary defenders during a Jan. 22 game. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:22AM
After suffering one of their lowest scoring outputs of the season in a 49-34 loss at Rosary last week, Aurora Christian girls basketball coach Jerry Tokars was still thinking optimistically.
“We’re having a good season,” Tokars said. “We still control our own destiny (in the Suburban Christian Gold).”
Going into the weekend, the Eagles were 4-3 in the SCC Gold, but still had games remaining against the two teams ahead of them at 5-2 in the conference standings — St. Francis and Immaculate Conception.
The Eagles held up the first end of the bargain, posting a 51-46 win over St. Francis Saturday behind an impressive 24 points from Alyssa Andersen.
Wednesday, the Eagles travel to Elmhurst to face Immaculate Conception — a team they beat 44-33 on Dec. 21 — and finish up conference play against Wheaton Academy Friday before heading into the Class 2A Wilmington Regional next week.
Aurora Christian was 11-15 last year, but the record stands at 15-8 heading into this final week of the regular season. The Eagles have been rewarded with the top seed at Wilmington, with a potential showdown looming with Seneca for a regional crown and a berth into the Somonauk Sectional at stake.
On Friday, the brackets in Class 3A and 4A were announced, and there are several intriguing dates for local fans to keep an eye out for.
In Class 3A, two of the area’s top teams, Plano and Kaneland, could potentially meet in the Burlington Central Regional semifinals. Plano is the No. 2 seed at the regional, while Kaneland, which has to play Sandwich in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Feb. 12, is the No. 3 seed. The host Rockets earned the top seed.
In Class 4A, Yorkville could receive a rude welcome after bumping up from Class 3A this year. The Foxes host a regional and earned the ninth seed in the Oswego Sectional. They play eighth-seeded Oswego East in the semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
The winner of that game faces powerhouse Bolingbrook, the top sectional seed and winners of four state championships since 2005. The Raiders had reached the state tournament seven straight seasons before being bounced in the supersectional by eventual state champion Whitney Young last year.
Strange days at West
West Aurora will have to get past Waubonsie Valley in the Class 4A Lemont Regional quarterfinals on Feb. 11 for the right to face fifth-seeded Plainfield East in the semifinals.
Before the Blackhawks can focus on that task, however, they have been forced into one of the most bizarre stretches one could imagine the past few weeks.
Leading scorer Liz Skaggs went down with a season-ending broken hand, yet the Blackhawks hung with DuPage Valley Conference powers Naperville Central and Wheaton Warrenville South without her. Then last week, they fell at home to a Glenbard North team they had beaten by double digits twice before this season.
Then on Saturday, things got really weird. A fire alarm during the sophomore game delayed the start of the game by 45 minutes. Once the game finally got started, behind junior Abriya Zeitz (21 points, 11 rebounds), the Blackhawks led for most of the day against an 18-5 Wheaton North squad. But the Falcons rallied to force overtime and pulled away for a 65-55 win.