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West Aurora powers past West Chicago
By Kevin McGavin | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 1/11/2013 11:58 PM

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West Chicago could not keep up with the Thomas twins on Friday night in Aurora.

Spencer and Chandler Thomas were an indestructible force for West Aurora during its 71-44 victory over the Wildcats in the schools’ DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball game.

Whether it was crashing the offensive glass, clearing the defensive side or choking the Wildcats’ passing lanes, the Thomas brothers combined for 26 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and a pair of blocks in the latest West Aurora one-sided win over the Wildcats.

West Chicago (3-13, 0-6) has not defeated West Aurora since ending the Blackhawks’ 10-year run of regional titles in March 2005.

“Coach (Gordie Kerkman) stresses you have to crash the boards and play good defense,” said Spencer Thomas, who scored 14 points for West Aurora. “We shared the ball a lot tonight.”

The West Aurora ball dispersal was undeniable as Jontrell Walker missed joining his four fellow starters by a point for double-digit production.

Top-ranked West Aurora (12-2, 6-0) never trailed in yet another clinic on the virtues of team play.

Josh McAuley, brilliant in the post for West Aurora with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks, and Jayquan Lee, who had back-to-back first-quarter 3-pointers as part of his 12-point effort, set the early tone.

“They play basketball the way the game of basketball should be played,” West Chicago coach Bill Recchia said of the Blackhawks. “(Kerkman) gets the most out of his teams every year. They are a truly storied program.”

Spencer Thomas’ field goals to close out the first quarter and begin the second established the first of what would be innumerable double-digit leads for West Aurora.

With a 33-19 lead at the break the Thomas’ 6 combined points to open the third quarter put any thoughts of a West Chicago comeback on the backburner.

“It’s the best feeling in the world (playing with my brother),” said Chandler Thomas, who had 12 points. “I have been playing with him my whole life. I know what he is going to do even before he does it.”

But West Chicago did respond behind John Konchar, a 6-foot-4 forward; the junior, who scored a game-high 19 points, scored 10 points in the third quarter as the Wildcats nearly matched their entire first-half output with 17 points.

West Aurora would close out the Wildcats with seven different players in the fourth quarter while West Chicago could score only 8 points in total in the last quarter.

Spencer Thomas’ third putback of the game was symbolic of the 19-8 spread.

“(The twins) have been playing that way the whole year,” Kerkman said. “They make things happen for us, and, fortunately, not many good things for the other team.”

Mitch Henke scored 10 points for West Chicago.