Boys Basketball: IC Catholic cools off Aurora Christian with zone defense, earns first league win

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AURORA – The Aurora Christian boys basketball team more than likely would have preferred the Knights had played a traditional man defense in the schools’ Metro Suburban Conference Blue game.

Aurora Christian was utterly befuddled after halftime, failing to score a conventional field goal in the process as the Knights applied a zone with a menacing result.

IC Catholic Prep earned its first league victory with a 48-40 victory Tuesday night in Aurora.

“Our 3-2 (zone) defense, our ‘Navy’ defense, we have been practicing it hard for the last couple of weeks,” said IC senior forward John Hilgart, who was the high man for both teams with 16 points.

The Knights (9-8, 1-4) limited the Eagles (11-4, 0-2) to 16 second-half points.

“We put in the (new) defense at our Christmas tournament,” Hilgart said. “It has worked real well for everyone we have played against since then.”

The Knights’ fanned-out zone created an offensive flameout for Aurora Christian.

Relying almost exclusively on a perimeter attack, Aurora Christian launched its first 12 field-goal attempts of the second half from 3-point territory.

The Eagles would make only four 3-pointers for their entire second-half output.

Four free throws would account for the remainder of the Eagles’ third- and fourth-quarter production.

IC harassed Aurora Christian into missing 15 3-pointers after the intermission.

“The problem was,” Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe said of the Eagles’ second-half shot selection, “they were wide-open shots. We were trying to get the best shot possible. (The loss) wasn’t due to the defense, we just didn’t shoot very well.”

Aurora Christian never trailed in building a 24-22 lead at the break, but the Hilgart 3-pointer seconds before the intermission did not auger well for the Eagles.

“My inside game wasn’t working very well, so I stayed out by the arc,” Hilgart said. “My 3-point shooting was much better.”

Drew Meyers’ 3-pointer midway through the third quarter unsealed the only tie of the game.

But the Eagles’ resulting 33-30 lead was almost academic as eight-plus minutes’ game time would elapse before Aurora Christian scored again.

IC Catholic Prep was on its way to denting the league win column as Kal Kilgast scored 10 of his 13 points in the final quarter.

IC was in command when Hilgart complemented Kilgast opening the fourth with 5 rapid points with a traditional 3-point conversion.

All five Hilgart connections from the floor were worth 3 points as he had earlier drained four 3-pointers.

Virtually the entire Aurora Christian production came from three players. Meyers and Danny New scored 14 points apiece. Jabari Sisco had all six of his points in the first half.t