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Boys basketball: Aurora Christian can’t complete comeback

Updated: March 2, 2013 7:07AM

Making a stirring comeback is one thing. Actually getting over the hump and completing it is another.

Aurora Christian did the former Tuesday night against Winnebago, but was unable to complete the latter. Playing the state’s third-ranked team in Class 2A, the Eagles battled back from 16 points down in the second half to trail by four with five minutes left, but the visiting Indians made their free throws down the stretch to remain unbeaten at 22-0 after the 70-57 nonconference win.

Aurora Christian (11-10) owned a 36-35 advantage in the second half, but got in trouble in the first two quarters when the Eagles made just nine of their 26 shots in the half. Winnebago didn’t shoot it much better, going 11-for-32, but owned a 10-1 advantage at the free-throw line and a 35-21 lead at the break.

“I thought the game was lost in the first half,” ACHS coach Pat McNamara said. “We were very impatient on offense and we didn’t stop their penetration. We have to clean that up.”

In holding the Indians to eight points in the third, the Eagles trailed just 43-36 heading into the final period, and a free throw by Ryan Suttle with 4:58 to go got Aurora Christian as close as it would get at 49-44.

The Indians responded with an 11-4 run over the next 2:05 as Matt Reinke, Derek Polkowski and Jacoby Posley all drained three-pointers, two of which came after Winnebago secured an offensive rebound. The lead was back to 12 (60-48) at that point and the Indians took care of business at the line the rest of the way.

“I thought our legs just went,” McNamara said. “When you fight back, it’s hard to catch up, and there is a reason they are (ranked so highly). I was happy we played hard. You get down 16 to a team like that and a lot of teams roll over, and our guys were scrapping.”

Johnathan Harrell paced the Eagles with a game-high 25 points, while Suttle posted 14. Posley had 23 for the Indians, with Reinke and Polkowski posting 15 and 12, respectively.

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