DEKALB — The shots never started falling, the turnovers didn't slow down, and the rebounds never came.
The undefeated run of the Indian Creek boys basketball team came to an end Tuesday in the Class 1A NIU Supersectional, as the Timberwolves lost 70-43 to Aurora Christian in the third meeting between the teams this season.
"They have not let anything bother them," Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz said. "This team has been great the entire year, and this game does not change that at all. I mean, they're great.
"They're great kids, they're a great team, and this game does not change that one bit."
The Timberwolves (35-1) shot only 3 of 25 from 3-point range and 31% from the floor.
"You have to give them credit, 'cause they were playing very aggressive defense and getting out on our shooters," Piekarz said. "We had some open looks early, too, and they just kind of rimmed out. I think sometimes when you play from a deficit you start to press a little bit, and one miss leads to two misses leads to three misses."
The Eagles (25-6) raced out to an 11-4 lead and led 22-8 early in the second quarter. The lead grew to 20 at halftime 34-14, and Indian Creek never got closer than 16 in the second half.
And while they were outrebounded 44-35, including 10 offensive rebounds, and committed 20 turnovers that led to 21 Aurora Christian points, the Timberwolves couldn't consistently make shots — particularly the 3-pointers that have powered them all year.
Cam Russell hit the first 3 more than 12 minutes into the game. Michael Lampson hit one late in the fourth, and they were the only two IC players to connect from long range.
"Their defense was just aggressive," Russell said. "They closed out on us. We had to shoot with confidence, and we've been shooting with confidence all year. Even today we did, but they just didn't fall because they had good closeouts."
Aurora Christian coach Dan Beebe said taking away the inside game of the Timberwolves helps limit their outside game.
“We knew that we could limit the 3-point shooting if we limited the penetration," Beebe said. "If we stopped the penetration, the help, that doesn’t have to be there as much. The help and then recovery is where it’s at.”
Russell said the loss didn't change anything the Timberwolves accomplished this season, and his coach agreed.
"Whether we would have lost tonight, in a sectional game, state final game or won the whole thing, they have done so much more," Piekarz said. "They have captured the community. They have captured the neighboring communities. They are an easy team to root for. And that says a lot, not just how they are as basketball players, but how they are as kids and people.
"They do everything the way it should be done."
Russell and Aurora Christian's Danny New each scored 21 points. Karsen Olsen added 16 for Aurora Christian, Jabari Sisco scored 11 and Taaj Davis 10. Davis also had six rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Sisco had 10 boards. Olsen and Daniel Walker each had nine rebounds.
Cooper Larsen also scored nine before fouling out in the third quarter.
The previous season-low point total for the Timberwolves was 57, set Friday in their sectional final win against Dakota.
"They get down 15 to 20, they start pressing the ball," Beebe said. "They’re down 20 points in the second quarter, now you’re trying … to get five or six points a possession, and that doesn’t work.”
Aurora Christian advances to the IHSA State semifinals in Peoria, playing Madison at 11 a.m. Friday.