The Burlington Central boys basketball team continued its dominance of the Fox Valley Conference Friday night with a 52-32 win over Hampshire Friday.
Central continues its hold on first place with a 10-0 FVC mark.
The host Rockets jumped put to an early lead, scoring the first 10 points of the first quarter. Hampshire turned the ball over on its first three trips down the court. Adam Ugochukwu finally put the Whip-Purs on the board at the 4:37 mark. The senior led Hampshire’s scoring with 13 points.
Hampshire trailed 12-5 at the end of the first frame. The Whip-Purs rallied in the second quarter to close the gap to 22-13 at the intermission.
Central’s Trestan Wagner had the highlight play of the second quarter. The senior laid in the ball after a steal and finished the play with a free throw.
The Rockets broke the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Hampshire 16-8 in the period for a 38-22 lead to start the final frame. Central continued to pull away in the last eight minutes.
Central (19-3) changed it strategy after intermission. Instead of relying on long and midrange shots, the Rockets concentrated on working the ball inside.
Drew Scharnowski was the chief benefactor of the switch. The junior scored 11 of his game-high 18 points during the third quarter.
“We felt like we didn’t do a good job of executing in the first half,” Central coach Brett Porto said. “Part of that was their defense and part of that was us trying to go too quick at times. But (in the third quarter) when we got some of the high lows going and post entries, that when we started pulling away.”
“I was playing passive in the first half and coach got on me for that,” Scharnowski said. “Then (in the third quarter) I started cutting and moving the ball more. It helps that we have a great group of guys who are looking for you and passing you the ball.”
“That run in the third quarter killed us,” Hampshire coach Mike Featherly said. “We wanted to make it a half-court game against these guys. If you make it get out and go, you will be sitting there watching.”
Hampshire (9-12, 6-4) was plagued by turnovers throughout the game committing 16 with six in the third.
“Positioning wise, we were in bad spots because they pressure you,” Featherly said. “But there were a lot of unforced ones.”
Zac Schmidt scored 11 points for the Rockets. Teammate Carson Seyller notched nine.
With the Central girls winning Friday’s opening contest, 51-34, the Rockets completed a conference sweep of Hampshire this season.
Central’s girls led 31-17 at halftime and were poised to break the game open in the second half. However, the Rockets came out sluggish in the third quarter. Central only scored eight points in the period but held Hampshire (8-14, 3-6) to four to maintain the lead.
Central (13-7, 8-1) regrouped in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
“We were a little lethargic (in the third quarter) and we began to make some mistakes in our press, I think the girls just ran out of gas a little bit and weren’t as aggressive on the offensive end,” said Central coach Collin Kalamatas. “But then we got on a big roll in the fourth quarter and knocked some shots down.”
Hampshire’s Avery Cartee led all scorers with 17 points.
Taylor Charles scored a team-high 16 points for Central followed by Emma Payton with 12 and Becca Carni with 10.
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