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West Aurora's Spencer Thomas goes up for a layup at East Aurora on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
West Aurora simply had too much firepower Saturday night for crosstown rival East Aurora, rolling to a 78-45 decision in the 216th meeting of the series between them.
The 33-point margin of victory ties a 1948 game — won 68-35 by West — as the largest in the history of the rivalry, which started its second century this night. West leads the series 129-87.
“That was not an objective,” West Aurora coach Gordie Kerkman said.
“One of the worst things for us as far as hoping to pull off an upset was for them to lose last night,” East Aurora coach Wendell Jeffries said of the Blackhawks’ two-point loss to Glenbard East Friday in a battle of DuPage Valley Conference unbeatens.
West Aurora is now 14-3 overall. East, which lost to Metea Valley on Friday in an Upstate Eight Valley game, falls to 3-16.
Junior guard Jontrel Walker led West with 20 points, senior forward Spencer Thomas added 17 to go with four assists and senior guard Jayquan Lee added 10 points and three assists.
“We had a little talk about team play (after Friday’s loss),” said Kerkman. “I thought Friday we went a little too much individual and we didn’t use our offense to our advantage.”
They did Saturday, especially in a 9-0 run midway through the second quarter that extended a 24-16 lead to 33-16. It featured Spencer Thomas feeding twin brother Chandler for a layup, Walker hitting center Josh McAuley for a backdoor layup, Spencer Thomas making a three-point play after being fouled on a putback and a pair of free throws from sophomore Roland Griffin.
East got a team-high 14 points from senior guard DeJon Talbert but he wasn’t 100 percent, playing with a pulled groin muscle that limited him in practice all week and was the reason Jeffries sat him for Friday’s game.
“Their chemistry was impressive,” Talbert said of West. “They knew where each other was on the floor on every play.”
East was just 2 of 11 from the floor in the second quarter and 3 of 10 in the third when it was outscored by the visitors 41-21.
West had nine assists on its 15 first-half baskets.
McAuley had just six points but pulled down 13 rebounds and had four blocked shots despite sitting for nearly four minutes of the second quarter after getting his second foul.
“A good team like that usually is not going to lose two in a row,” Jeffries said.
“I thought Jontrel (Walker) did an outstanding job. We tried to spot our press and every time we did he would do a great job of getting people in the right spots and they made a pass for an easy basket.
“He’s come a long way from when he played as a freshman in this game. His basketball savvy and experience certainly showed.”