WILMINGTON – The Aurora Christian girls basketball team claimed the first regional title in program history Thursday, topping Seneca, 49-43, for the IHSA Class 2A Wilmington Regional crown.
“It’s a big win, an exciting win and the kids deserved it,” Eagles coach Jerry Tokars said. “They worked many hours and many months. It’s all about being a team and working hard and reaping the benefits of that work.”
Alyssa Andersen contributed 17 points and six rebounds to spark the Eagles, who improved to 19-8 and advanced to play Peru St. Bede in a Somonauk Sectional semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Alex Hultine (12 points) and Kirsten Madsen (nine) rounded out a balanced ACS attack as the team added to its program-record wins total. Natasha Brown added 10 rebounds, four steals and four points.
ACS and Seneca combined to score just two points in the first 3:45 of the fourth quarter. The Eagles entered the period with a one-point lead after the Fighting Irish grabbed a 25-18 advantage at halftime.
“We gutted it out. It wasn’t easy,” Tokars said. “They gave us a major fight.”
South Elgin 61, Batavia 56 (OT): At South Elgin, posts Erin Bayram (17 points) and Hannah Frazier (12) paced Batavia in defeat in a fourth-place Upstate Eight Conference crossover. The Bulldogs (17-10) led, 25-18, at halftime.
Miranda Grizaffi also finished in double figures for Batavia, tallying 10 points. South Elgin’s Nell Wentling led all scorers with 27 points. She swished five of her eight treys after the break as the Storm had 11 3s overall.
Montini 75, St. Francis 32: At Lombard, host Montini rolled in Suburban Christian Conference play.
Geneva state bound with at-large bid: At Lincolnshire, the state's fourth and final sectional, at Stevenson, was completed, and Geneva earned a bid to next week's state meet with a top-four at-large team score among non-winners.
On Tuesday, the St. Charles co-op captured the Glenbard West Sectional crown – and an automatic berth to the Feb. 15-16 state meet at Palatine – with a 143.775 team score. Glenbard West (143.3) and Geneva (142.825) were in close pursuit, but were forced to wait until Thursday for the rest of the scores to be completed. The Vikings had the third-best at-large score.
At Maple Park, Kaneland canceled all after-school activities because of Thursday’s winter storm, including the girls basketball team’s Northern Illinois Big 12 East game at Rochelle. The game was listed as a permanent cancellation on the team’s schedulestar.com website.
The Knights, who are on a three-game winning streak, begin play at the 3A Burlington Central against Sandwich on Tuesday.