Continuing our look at the upcoming boys high school basketball season, today we feature the three private schools in Aurora.
If this year is like every other year, Aurora Central will labor against a tough regular season schedule, then peak in the postseason. The Chargers went just 12-17 last year and have a combined record of 29-31 over the last two seasons. They also have two regional championships and a sectional championship to their credit. They've played Rockford East in the sectional final two years in a row, winning in 2011 and losing last year.
ACC will have to replace its top two scorers from a year ago -- Robert DeMyers and Joey McEachern. But, the Charger lineup could feature four seniors, the best of which is point guard Anthony Andujar (pictured). Phil Schuetz, Shawn Soris and Zach Flint are other players who figure to step into more prominent roles.
As per usual, coach Nate Drye's team will feature a 2-3 zone defense. Mediocre record or not, I won't be surprised if ACC is one of the last teams standing in our coverage area come March. The Chargers have guys who have been in the system and know how to play. It's just a matter of figuring out where the scoring will come from.
Aurora Christian should be an interesting team to watch this year. The Eagles are coming off an 18-win season, but they also were upset by Plano in the first round of the regional. They have a lot of experience coming back, but a slow start wouldn't be a surprise since many of the key players on this club are still playing football.
Junior Johnathan Harrell is the one returning Eagle who isn't occupied on the gridiron, so he may have to carry the team early. Once football season ends, three-year starter Ryan Suttle and a pair of 6-4 players -- Ryan McQuade and Cory Windle -- will be added to the lineup.
New coach Pat McNamara will have to work those guys back into the mix quickly as a difficult early-season schedule awaits. But, this is a group of kids that has played together on varsity for awhile, and that should make McNamara's task a little easier.
At Marmion, coach Ryan Paradise believes he'll have a deeper team than past years. The Cadets might play 10-12 guys instead of the customary eight or nine.
The top two returning players off last year's 14-14 squad are 6-5 senior Colin Kavanaugh and senior Alex Theisen. Look for those two players to lead Marmion in scoring most nights. After that, there are a lot of new players, a lot of unknowns, and it remains to be seen who will step up.
Paradise praised the energy level and attitude he's seen in practice. We'll see if the good practices translate to good results in the games.
Coming Sunday: Oswego and Oswego East