WESTCHESTER – The Aurora Central Catholic girls basketball team notched what coach Mark Fitzgerald called “one of the greatest victories in the history of the program” on Tuesday, holding off a second half charge from host St. Joseph for a 71-66, IHSA Class 3A regional semifinal win.
The Chargers (14-14) received major contributions from sophomore Gabi Alfaro (17 points) and veterans Alex DeCraene (19) and Lisa Rodriguez (20).
“Gabi Alfaro played out of her mind tonight. … Scoring, defensively, rebounding, steals, assists,” Fitzgerald said. “Just her best game so far in her young career.”
Rodriguez shook off a twisted ankle in the first half to supply leadership down the stretch, while DeCraene "hit like two or three huge 3s that were almost like NBA 3s to just take the heart out of them," Fitzgerald said.
ACC had led by 11 at halftime but St. Joe tightened the game considerably down the stretch.
The Chargers, who have had an up-and-down season with a young roster on the heels of last year’s fourth place state finish in Class 2A, advance to Thursday’s regional final against Nazareth Academy.
Chicago Prosser 3A Regional: St. Francis’ season came to a close with a 45-44 loss to Timothy Christian in a regional semifinal.
Benet 51, Wheaton Academy 39: At West Chicago, Collin Roy and Gordon Behr scored 33 of the 39 points for Wheaton Academy (18-6), which fell in nonconference play to powerhouse Benet.
Aurora Christian 84, Wilmington 41: At Aurora, Wes Wolfe scored 18 points and Ryan McQuade added 11 to power Aurora Christian (15-11) in nonconference action.
Burlington Central 63, Marengo 57: At Marengo, Central (11-13, 9-1 Big Northern Conference East) added to its conference lead.
Immaculate Conception 54, St. Francis 50: At Wheaton, Tim Zettinger scored 16 points but it wasn’t enough for St. Francis (18-6) in the Suburban Christian Conference crossover loss.