AURORA – Heading into halftime leading by only two points on Saturday, the St. Charles North boys basketball team needed to find a way to pull away from East Aurora.
The play of senior guard Jake Ludwig gave the North Stars some added separation from their opponents early in the second half. Ludwig was involved in the first four scoring plays for St. Charles North in the third quarter, sparking the North Stars' 75-64 Upstate Eight Conference crossover win.
Ludwig added three baskets of his own, with an assist to teammate Alec Goetz as well. Goetz finished with 30 points for the contest to finish as the game’s high scorer. T
The strong start to the second half gave North the momentum it needed to cap off a 2-0 weekend after winning at Geneva on Friday.
“I wouldn’t trade [Goetz and Ludwig] for any other backcourt," North coach Tom Poulin said. "They work well together and they do a great job of taking what the defense gives them.”
Heading into the fourth quarter, the North Stars (9-5) had their lead built up to 49-40, with the lead getting as large as 14 at one point early in the fourth.
But with the 3-point shooting ability of East Aurora (4-11), the Tomcats remained in the hunt.
East Aurora made six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter alone, with three of those coming from Kejuan Davis (24 points).
Fortunately for St. Charles North, the North Stars always had an answer on the offensive end to counter the Tomcats’ 3-point shooting, most notably coming from the free throw line.
The North Stars shot 17 of 19 from the line in the fourth quarter, led by Goetz, who was a perfect 10 for 10, to help North ice the game in the closing minutes.
“We really stressed free throw shooting during practice because early in the season our free throw percentage really wasn’t very good, but we worked on it a lot and now we’re pretty good,” Goetz said.
Jack Callaghan (15) and Ludwig (12) also were in double figures scoring for North.