It wasn't exactly Pack the Place, but the relatively few hardy souls who turned out on Rocket Hill on a frigid weeknight saw a pretty entertaining basketball game.
In the end, Burlington Central held off North Boone, 72-70, in a Big Northern East boys thriller.
Reed Hunnicutt had 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Rockets. Brett Rau and James Raney added 11 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
It took the Rockets awhile to adjust to the Vikings' frenetic style, with coach Richard Williams often sending in five substitutes at a time.
North Boone led 33-26 late in the first half, but Central used runs of 10-2 and 11-3 to grab a 51-45 advantage in the third. The Vikings hung around after that, but could never regain the lead.
"That's how they play, so this was the first time we'd had an opportunity to go against it," said Central coach Brett Porto. "If we had finished around the rim a little bit more, made a couple of free throws, we would have been able to dictate pace like we wanted to."
The Rockets (14-5, 4-1) were also hampered by foul trouble for several players, including 6-foot-9 Duncan Ozburn, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks. That kept the Rockets from going inside as much as they wanted to, and to top it off, their long-range shots weren't falling.
But they persevered, taking the lead for good at 44-42 on a basket by Rau. They led by as many as 9 in the fourth quarter, but the Vikings wouldn't go away. A 3-pointer by Kyle Hoffman made it 71-68 with under 15 seconds left. Hunnicutt made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a two-possession game, so that Nick Krawczyk's putback at the buzzer didn't matter.
Ryan Fitzgerald added 8 points and 7 rebounds for Central, which held a 39-31 advantage on the glass, and Luke McCurdy had 6 points.
Wes Timpe scored 14 points, and Griffin Schuster added 13 for North Boone.