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Sports

Boys Basketball: Zach Jordan, IC Catholic Prep keep Aurora Christian star in check

Knights hold Taaj Davis to 11 points to grab key Metro Suburban Blue win

Zach Jordan
Zach Jordan

AURORA – Taaj Davis entered his latest Metro Suburban Blue boys basketball game with perhaps unprecedented back-to-back performances.

The Aurora Christian senior guard torched Bishop McNamara and Chicago
Christian with consecutive 50-plus-point games over the weekend.

"We wanted the other players to beat us," IC Catholic Prep senior Zach
Jordan said.

It was mission accomplished for the Knights Tuesday night in Aurora.

Dom Gaudio hit back-to-back 3-pointers to close out the second quarter, and the Knights never trailed again in a 57-46 victory.

In snapping the Eagles' seven-game winning streak, IC Catholic Prep significantly tightened the league standings in improving to 13-6 overall and 3-2. Aurora Christian remains in first place in its division at 13-3, 4-1.

"It means a lot for our team, especially coming into their place," Jordan
said of the impact on the conference standings.

The Eagles' middle two quarters were a house of horrors offensively as IC
Catholic Prep allowed a mere 11 points during the span.

Employing multiple defenses against Davis, IC Catholic Prep held the
southpaw standout without a point for 22-plus minutes.

Davis' step-back field goal at the first-quarter buzzer was his last field goal until a minute, 47 seconds remained.

"Teams are starting to catch on," Davis said. "They are learning to keep the ball out of my hands.”

To complicate matters for Aurora Christian, its primary second option, sophomore guard Danny New, missed the game with a back issue.

Daniel Walker played admirably in starting for New, scoring 19 points to lead all scorers.

But long-term trouble certainly loomed as Walker and Davis scored all but one of the Eagles’ 23 first-half points.

Jordan, on the other hand, ran the Knights' offense with precision, scoring 12 of his team-high 18 points in the opening half.

Gaudio, who finished with 14 points, had yet to score until he drained consecutive set-shots from well beyond the head of the key to give the Knights a 27-23 cushion at the break.

"That's what we practice on, hitting open shots," said Gaudio.

But it was the Knights' harassing defense – the Eagles shot just 17-for-52 for
the – that was the fundamental difference.

"That's what we were looking for: to stop one of the best guys in our
conference," Gaudio said.

"Shots just didn't fall," said Davis, who scored eight of his 11 points in the
first quarter.

IC Catholic Prep, which had a third double-digit scorer in Chauncey Lee
with 10 points, systematically expanded its lead in the second half.

"They hit shots and we didn't," Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe said. You've got to have more people contribute at the offensive end, especially when Taaj is having an off-night."

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