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Aurora Central poised to take another leap forward
By John Lemon | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 11/18/2010 12:37 PM

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Don't look now but there's a team right around that corner that's on the rise in the Suburban Christian Conference.

Aurora Central made a 10-game jump in wins last year, going from 3-23 to 13-14 in Mark Fitzgerald's second year as Charger coach. The 13-14 mark was the second best in ACC history.

Another 10-win leap would put Aurora Central in the mix with the best teams in the area. That might be the high end of expectations, but there's no doubt these experienced Chargers have what it takes to push their record well over .500 and compete for a Gold division title.

"This year's team is the strongest I have had since I arrived in '08," said Fitzgerald, who is most excited about the team's team speed, varsity experience, shooting and bench strength.

The Chargers return their top three scorers and rebounders from last year, starting with versatile guard Jacqueline Cardona (12.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg).

Aurora Central's other top two returning scorers provide the team with an inside game. Ashley Wilk averaged 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game and Katilyn Rosa wasn't far behind at 6.8 and 5.0, respectively.

And all three of those players are juniors just more reason to get excited about the Chargers' future.

"(We are) looking to capitalize on our strong showing last year and continue the process of building a winning program," Fitzgerald.

Aurora Central's senior class is led by captains Natalie Steinwart, Katherine Chandler and Alexia Goblet, who, according to Fitzgerald will provide a "tremendous amount of leadership and drive to our team."

The Chargers welcome two sophomores to their rotation, Rachel Rahn and Alex DeCraene, a transfer from Nazareth.

"Both players bring energy and speed to our lineup," Fitzgerald said."

Quick facts

Coach: Mark Fitzgerald

Last year: 13-14, 5-3 in conference, lost 62-25 to Rosary in Class 3A Yorkville regional semifinals

Players to watch: Jacqueline Cardona, jr., G; Ashley Wilk, jr., G/F; Katilyn Rosa, jr., F/C