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Walther Lutheran’s Jon Fuqua was a wrecking ball at Aurora Central Catholic Saturday night, exacting his damage at the interior of the Chargers defense. The 6-foot-5 senior tallied 35 points and 14 rebounds, leading the Broncos to a 72-64 Suburban Christian Blue triumph.
Scoring 24 points in the second and third quarters, Fuqua staked his team to a 57-47 advantage heading into the final frame, but the Chargers (8-8, 3-3 SCC) weren’t ready to fall. ACC opened the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run to claim a 58-57 edge with 5:45 remaining, but that lead was short-lived.
Najee Toomer canned a three-pointer at the 5:00 mark, and Fuqua followed with a layup from the baseline and a putback of his own miss that provided the Broncos (8-8, 3-3) some breathing room. Sean Harreld answered with a triple with 2:20 showing on the clock, but that was as close as the Chargers would get.
“Coach Al (Lainio) was talking to me before the game about finding my sweet spots (in the zone),” Fuqua explained. “I sometimes stray away from that, but today I was really focused. I wanted to get the W for the team because they beat us at our house.”
Anthony Andujar, who scored a team-high 18 points, opened the fourth frame with a trey from the top of the key and Mike O’Donnell followed with a layin. Jacob May added a pair of free throws, and Shawn Soris went coast to coast for a gimme after a steal slicing the deficit to 57-56. Turnovers on three straight possessions by the Broncos allowed the Chargers back in the game, and Andujar gave ACC its first lead of the contest when he buried a 19-footer at the 5:45 mark. Still, the Broncos did not crumble and instead regrouped.
“Coach reminded us to stay focused, and after that Najee hit a three to put us by two,” Fuqua said. “That was a really big shot by him.”
OShea Lewis stripped the ball and with 1:25 left to play and Joe Lomnicki was left all alone for an easy deuce to ice the game for the Broncos. Fuqua added a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left and provided the exclamation point with a two-handed slam on a dish from Jeremy Thomas.
Lewis finished with 12 points and seven rebounds while Lomnicki chipped in nine points off the bench. Phil Schuetz scored 15 points for the Chargers and Soris added 10 points and three steals. Schuetz put down a dunk in the opening quarter when he skied to the basket. But Fuqua seemed to answer the bell each time the Chargers made a run.
“I thought Fuqua played harder than anybody on our team did,” said ACC coach Nathan Drye. “That really killed us. He’s really good, but I thought he just played and went after it.”
“We’ve been preaching consistency for the last month,” said Walther Lutheran coach Al Lainio. “I think we put together four pretty good quarters. ACC came out in the fourth quarter and closed the gap. But we kept our heads, battled hard and came out with the victory.”