The final momentum swing went in Marengo's favor.
The Indians' boys basketball team went ahead on the game's 14th and final lead change and held on to beat Burlington Central, 56-50, in Burlington Tuesday night.
The Big Northern East loss all but ended the Rockets' hopes for a conference title, dropping them 2 games behind Richmond-Burton with 2 to play.
The Rockets led 48-45 with 3:23 to play, but 5 straight points by sophomore sharpshooter Zach Knobloch put Marengo ahead to stay, 50-48. Adam Rogutich scored to make it 52-48 and the Indians sealed the win at the free-throw line, spoiling the Rockets‘ senior night.
Reed Hunnicutt scored 16 points, and fellow senior Brett Rau scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half for Central (17-7, 7-3).
The Indians beat the Rockets for the second time in just over a week.
"We knew when we finished last year that they were going to pose problems for us," said Central coach Brett Porto. "Sometimes its just a matchup thing with who you play. They caused serious problems for us in certain areas."
The Indians kept Central center Duncan Ozburn from getting many clean looks at the basket, and the Rockets didn't have anyone hot from the outside to pull the Indians out of their tightly-packed zone. In the first half, Porto ran in just about everybody except Deb Twenhafel, but the Rockets couldn't get anyone going besides Hunnicutt, who had 7 points at the intermission.
There were 7 lead changes in the first quarter alone, which ended with the Rockets ahead 12-9. But Knobloch scored 5 points in the second quarter to help Marengo go up 25-22 at the half.
Central used a 13-5 run to go up 44-40 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't make it hold up.
"I thought when we got up 44-40, our shot selection got them back in it and that's unfortunate to see, but they made the plays when they had to," Porto said.
Stefan Jochum added 7 points off the bench For Central. Rau also grabbed 5 rebounds, but Marengo out-boarded the home team, 31-27.
Knobloch finished with 13 points, and Weston Shepard added 12 for Marengo.
The Rockets' shooting never did heat up much, as they finished at 32 percent from the field. Moreover, Marengo made 12 of 13 free throws while the Rockets went just 11 for 21 from the line.