Aurora Christian takes out Harvest Christian for title
Harvest Christian coach Bryan Bradshaw knew what to expect from Aurora Christian Saturday night in the championship game of the Burney Wilkie Classic.
Stopping it was an entirely different matter.
Senior Jake Wolfe and his younger brother Will Wolfe outscored the Eagles by themselves when Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe pulled them with the rout on in the fourth quarter. The Eagles led 70-43 at that point of their 75-59 win.
"You try and slow them down and take away their ability to drive and make it as difficult as possible," Bradshaw said. "They are two outstanding players. They can drive and shoot and we weren't able to take anything away tonight. That's a credit to them."
The Eagles won the 7th annual Classic, Aurora Christian's tournament named after the man who has worked the scorers table for 41 years. They finished second to Aurora Central Catholic last year.
Aurora Christian (4-0) might not finish second at much this season the way the Wolfes are playing. Their 19-point margin Saturday was the closest of their four wins -- and they were up 29 before the Lions closed the gap late.
Jake Wolfe, headed to Lipscomb University, finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. At one point he made 9 straight shots from the field -- a mix of 3-pointers and hard drives to the basket with some difficult finishes in traffic.
"I think the first three years he was a great talent," Beebe said of the four-year starter. "Now he is a great player. What I mean by that is he makes everyone around him better."
Will Wolfe sank six 3-pointers as part of his 23-point night while grabbing 7 rebounds.
"I've got to go in every game thinking my shot's going to go in," Will Wolfe said. "Sometimes it doesn't but today it looked good."
The Lions (2-1), who split with Aurora Christian last year, fell behind 10-2 on Will Wolfe's 3-pointer, then scored 6 straight.
Aurora Christian answered with a 23-5 run spanning the first and second quarters that basically put the game away. By halftime Jake Wolfe had 16 points, Will Wolfe 12 points and Michael Cruger 7 -- including a breakaway dunk -- for a 41-20 lead.
"It was nice to see him (Cruger) do that," Beebe said. "He does that in practice but I've never seen that in a game."
Jake Wolfe threw down a thunderous dunk of his own in the second half after having another called back by a charge in the first.
Before clearing the bench in the fourth quarter, the Eagles shot 54 percent from the field through 3 quarters while outrebounding the Lions 31-17.
"They have five guys when the ball goes up they just attack the glass," Bradshaw said. "They just wanted it a little more than us tonight. We didn't respond well early. Later in the game we battled with them better."
Cruger added 10 points for the Eagles.
"We all know we have a lot of talent," Jake Wolfe said. "We have to play hard and play together."
Mark Davila led the Lions with 16 points, including the final 7 of the game, and Jack Nohava scored 15 points with 7 rebounds.
The teams play again next Friday in Elgin.
"It's a good teaching moment for our guys," Bradshaw said. "New system and when you play against one of the best teams in the area, it makes it tough. We'll learn from it and hopefully continue to get better."