Harvest Christian runs past St. Edward
St. Edward boys basketball coach P.J. White had a simple explanation for his team's 85-63 loss to Harvest Christian Thursday night.
"We don't have the speed or the size or the strength to stay with them -- or pretty much anyone right now," said White. "But we'll get better."
Harvest Christian (5-1), which won its third game in as many nights during the 6th annual Burney Wilkie Classic at Aurora Christian, was in attack mode throughout the game.
Led by sophomore guard Andre White Jr. (team-leading 24 points), the Lions blistered the nets on 64 percent shooting from the floor (32 for 50) while exposing the youthful Green Wave (2-4) defense.
"I would say the first two games of this tournament (against Joliet Catholic and Aurora Central Catholic) we didn't shoot the ball well," said Lions coach Andre White. "This team went zone early but it was a spaced-out zone so they had a lot of gaps that we could hit.
"When they went man, we knew somebody would be the weak link and we were going to attack them."
The strategy paid dividends as the Lions amassed a season-high offensive total behind four double-figure scorers -- White Jr., sophomores J.J. Flores (21 points, 4 assists) and Jack Nohava (14 points, 11 rebounds), and senior Brennen Woods (16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals).
"We do have a pretty young team but we all play AAU basketball," said White Jr., who added 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists. "We want to share the ball and run."
Harvest Christian pulled away early thanks to its 12-0 run over the final 2:25 of the first quarter.
White Jr. contributed 5 points during the surge while the 6-foot-5 Woods added a one-handed dunk as the Lions built a 20-7 first-quarter advantage.
Flores tallied 11 second-quarter points as the Lions extended their halftime lead to 46-27.
"When you're playing half-court defense, a kid can go right by you and right to the basket every time," said P.J. White. "When nobody else wants to help, it's going to be a long day.
"We knew that's what they were going to do but we couldn't stop them from doing it. At some point in time, you just have to say the other team is better than you are. You just have to keep working at it."
Senior guard Kelvin Cortez-Harvey paced the Green Wave with 28 points while junior A.J. Franklin chipped in with 17 points, including four 3-pointers.
"Every game we've played so far, some guy has scored 24 points or more (against us)," said Andre White. "My main thing is not our offense right now -- it's more our defense."