Burlington Central rolls to 9th straight win
ROCKFORD -- Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith tried to take the press off a few times, but his players talked him out of it. The Rockets' full-court pressure was certainly effective, keying their 52-22 thrashing of Rockford Christian in Big Northern East action Monday night.
Central, which won its 26th straight BN-East game, held the Royal Lions to 7 second-half points and forced 32 turnovers for the game. against a team that had several returning players from last year, when the Rockets only beat them by a combined 7 points in their two meetings.
"I thought the press worked all night long," said Smith, whose team is now off until Dec. 26 when it meets Bartlett in the opening round of the Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown.
"When we tried to switch it up, they told me to go back. They have a good feel for what's going on out there. Defensively, any time a kid turned to go to the basket, we had a girl standing in her way."
Sam Pryor scored 9 of her 12 points in the second half and Shelby Holt had 8 of her 11 after the break. Pryor also had 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Alison Colby added 9 points for Central (9-0, 2-0), but this night was about the defense.
"We've practiced that press for awhile and we play really well in it," said Pryor.
Aly DeTamble had 3 of the Rockets' 8 steals in the first quarter as the Royal Lions had trouble just getting the ball over half-court.
Already leading 22-15, Central used a 15-0 run bridging halftime to blow the game wide open. Kayla Ross, DeTamble and Holt each hit 3-pointers in the waning moments of the first half. Pryor then scored the first 4 points of the second half, and Jackie Collins added a bucket to make it 37-15.
Jayla Penney was virtually the only offense for Rockford Christian, scoring a game-high 13 points, mostly on drives to the basket.