BYRON – The second quarter proved to be the Aurora Christian boys basketball team’s downfall Wednesday.
Aurora Christian (19-12) stayed with high-powered and undefeated Winnebago until a minute into the second quarter of an IHSA Class 2A Byron Sectional semifinal. A 3-pointer from Ryan McQuade and a jumper from Ryan Suttle tied the score at 19, but the Indians responded with an 18-2 run to close out the first half en route to a 69-51 victory.
Aurora Christian’s only other points in the quarter came with 24 seconds left, a jumper from junior Johnathan Harrell.
“That was the ballgame,” said McNamara. “This one hurts. We just didn’t do a good enough job of closing out their shooters.”
ACS showed some life coming out in the second half and was led by McQuade, who finished with 25 points off the bench, including 19 in the second half. The forward hit three straight 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the third, but Winnebago shooters responded each time to keep separation and hold off a surge.
“Guys get me the ball when I get hot,” McQuade said. “Coach tells them to get me the ball and they do. But you have to give [Winnebago] a lot of credit. They have a great defense.”
The Eagles pulled to within 11 points of Winnebago when McQuade hit three free throws with 3:40 left, but Aurora Christian could not get any closer.
“When a team gets hot like that it’s hard to stop them,” he said. “They were just a hard team to stop.”
Harrell and Suttle scored nine each in the game. Winnebago standout Jacoby Posley led the Indians with 22, followed by Tyler Shumate and Isaiah Yanni with 14.