WEST CHICAGO – Gordon Behr and his Wheaton Academy boys basketball teams can strike one goal off the list.
Playing in their final Suburban Christian Conference game Friday, the Warriors went out in style.
Receiving contributions up and down their roster, the Warriors knocked off Marmion 59-49 to cap off the program's fifth consecutive conference title. Next year, the school heads to the Metro Suburban Conference.
"That was one of our goals this year," said Gordon Behr, who was one of two seniors, along with William Burdett, to be honored on senior night. "It's our last year in the conference and we wanted to go out winning it."
Behr finished with eight points and five rebounds in his final home game. Josh Ruggles led all scorers with 16 points, Burdett also totaled eight points, and Jacob Lindstedt finished with seven.
"It's kind of bittersweet," Behr said. "I really love this court and love this school. Senior night was a lot of fun."
The victory put the finishing touches on a perfect 10-0 run through the Blue division of the SCC..
"The focus this year has been on mental toughness," Behr said. "Some of the harder games, like at St. Francis and at Marmion, those games we've really gotten a lot better at this year."
Wheaton Academy wrapped up the regular season with a 19-8 record under first-year head coach Peter Froedden, marking the seventh straight season the team has won 17 or more games.
The Warriors were set to open up the postseason on Wednesday at the Class 3A Genoa-Kingston regional against Burlington Central with the winner advancing to Friday's regional championship game.
"Coach [Paul] Ferguson was a great coach and Coach Froedden is a great coach, so a lot of it has to do with that," Behr said. "And we really bought into the new system as a team. We struggled early in the season but we are peaking at a good time."
The Warriors had knocked off St. Francis 46-44 in SCC action on Feb. 26. Behr scored 15 points and Ruggles added 14.
Wheaton Academy 59
Three keys to victory
1. Balance: The Warriors had nine players enter into the scoring column and had 10 players grab at least one rebound.
2. Third quarter run: Up by seven at halftime, Wheaton Academy went on a 16-8 third quarter run to push its advantage to double digits.
3. Free throw shooting: The Warriors made 18 free throws in the game, including 11 in the fourth quarter.