In a game featuring contrasting defenses, Aurora Christian broke the contest open early in the fourth quarter in a 61-44 victory over Genoa-Kingston in the Plano Christmas Tournament.
Early on the Eagles were able to find open players near the basket on the fast break and in their half-court set. Jonathan Harrell and Pat McNamara each had a pair of pin-point assists as Aurora Christian led 19-13 after one.
“We try to run the break as much as we can and Jon’s the fastest guy on the floor,” McNamar said a. “We try to get out wide and look for our big guys inside. We’ve been a lot more patient lately and we’re winning because of that.”
“It’s kind of easy (giving assists) when they all sprint down the court and run to the right spots,” added Harrell, who scored 15 points. “They look for the gaps to get open, so it’s good teamwork.”
Zach Singer (game-high 23 points) and Christian’s other front-liners converted on many of the assists and offensive rebounds and pulled away slightly to lead 35-22 at intermission and 46-33 after three. The Eagles dominated the Cogs on the boards in the first half 26-14, and pounded the glass even harder in the third quarter with a 12-2 margin.
When Steve Buhrt made a layup, Harrell scored on a great drive, and Singer dropped in a trey early in the fourth quarter, Aurora Christian opened an 18 point lead at 53-35 and it was all but over.
RD Lutze also added 15 points for the Eagles, Harrell finished with six assists and McNamara added three. Eli Thurlby led Genoa-Kingston with 10 points.
“I thought we did a good job of moving the ball and making the extra pass to get wide-open looks,” Aurora Christian coach Pat McNamara said. “Singer and Lutze got a lot of boards down there. They were crashing every time and did a great job with a lot of putbacks.”