Auburn defense calms Storm on way to sectional win
By Matt Nestor
A rarity this season for Auburn, the Knights entered their IHSA Class 4A sectional game against South Elgin with a big size advantage.
Auburn used their size and length on the defensive end to shut down the Storm, allowing only 2 points in the pivotal second quarter on their way to a 60-46 win.
Things were tight after the first quarter. Dillan Gardner scored 6 points for South Elgin as they were tied with Auburn after one quarter.
But the Knights opened up the second quarter on an 11-0 run on their way to opening up a 12-point lead by the half.
Senior Anthony Strickland was big in the second quarter, knocking down two 3-pointers on his way to a team-leading 13 points.
Strickland led five Knights who finished in double figures. LaMark Foote scored 12 points, Tavious Ford scored 11, and Fred Van Vleet and Javauntae Hicks scored 10 each.
“The story of our season has been that we’ve had guys step up all year long,” Auburn Head Coach Bryan Ott said.
For South Elgin, Sammy Sutter led the way with a game-high 19 points.
Next up for the Knights is the sectional finals Friday, March 11, at Algonquin Jacobs, where they will face Huntley at 7:30 p.m. The Red Raiders knocked off Elgin 57-46 the previous night.
The Fox Valley champions are 25-4 on the season and enter on a 12-game winning streak. A look at the roster makes it appear as though Huntley is young, but that can be deceiving.
Their leading scorer is senior Tyler Brunschon and another senior, Dylan Neukirch, is their top option in the post. Additionaly, juniors Troy Miller, Justin Frederick and sophomore Bryce Only are all on the varsity team for the second straight year.
Also playing at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 11, in Woodstock will be the East E-Rabs, who will play Aurora Central Catholic, 41-38 winners over Woodstock Marian Central.
Much like East, the 16-13 Chargers play in a conference against a lot of 4A schools. While that is tough on the overall record, it also makes them battle tested in the playoffs.
The Chargers are led by 6-foot-4-inch junior Robert DeMyers, who averages 13 points per game.
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