Girls Basketball: Aurora Christian ousts Seneca
By Paul Johnson For Sun-Times Media February 7, 2013 10:52PM
Updated: March 10, 2013 6:20AM
Aurora Christian coach Jerry Tokars has been saying all season his team is a second-half team, so it seemed only natural that Thursday night’s Class 2A Wilmington Regional title game against Seneca would require some second-half magic.
The Eagles were down by seven points at halftime in their quest for their first regional title, but they held Seneca to 18 second-half points and pulled away in the final two minutes for a 49-43 win.
Aurora Christian advances to sectionals for the first time in program history, heading to Somonauk at 6 p.m. Monday to face Peru St. Bede in the semifinals.
“I told them all year long, this is a second-half team,” Tokars said. “They’ve done this time and time again. They stuck together, worked it out as a team and they all contributed little pieces, which is very important.”
Seneca (14-16) jumped out to a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter before taking the seven-point halftime edge. Chelsie McCormick scored 17 of the Irish’s points, but Aurora Christian held her to just one point in the second half.
A 10-2 run in the third quarter, featuring four points each from Alyssa Andersen and Alex Hultine, helped Christian finally wrest away the lead at 36-34 with 1:04 left in the quarter. In the final second of the quarter, Andersen was called for her fourth foul, though it appeared the foul was called on the wrong player.
With their leader sitting on the bench, the Eagles had to turn up the defense to keep them in the game. By the time Andersen returned with 3:28 left in the fourth, Christian had not even attempted a field goal and turned the ball over four times on the offensive end. But Seneca managed just two points in taking a 39-38 lead.
Andersen did not score the rest of the game, but with her back in the fold, the Eagles ended the game on an 11-4 run and turned it over only once the rest of the way.