Burlington Central wins its own MLK title again
Apparently, the Burlington Central boys basketball team really wanted a third straight title in the Central MLK Classic.
The Rockets blasted out to a 22-11 lead after one quarter Monday and never looked back in routing McHenry, 65-40, for the crown.
After the Warriors took their only lead at 5-3, the Rockets scored the next 10 points and 16 of the next 20 to lead 19-9.
Mike Kalusa hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the rally.
"The first one was kind of deep and I thought that I was going to get yelled at, but I banked it in," he said. "Then that second one, I just kind of let it go and it went in."
Kalusa finished with 14 points and four 3-pointers. Zach Schutta led the Rockets with 18 points and Patrick Mayfield added 12 points and 7 rebounds.
The Rockets' defense held McHenry to 36 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers. Central also outrebounded the Warriors, 32-20.
"It felt like our defense really caused them to get off their spots offensively and caused them to rush some shots, maybe missing some that they normally make," said Central coach Brett Porto.
McHenry never made a serious run. A 3-pointer by Gavin Markgraff to open the fourth quarter made it 44-28, but Central answered with a 7-2 run to go up by 21. Schutta accounted for all 7 of the Rockets' points in the spurt.
Shcutta, Kalusa and Mayfield earned all-tournament honors before the game. Then they went out and led the Rockets to their third title in the three years of the event.
Markgraff and Gio Calabrese each scored 11 points for McHenry.
Earlier, Wheaton Academy got by Elgin, 59-56, for third place. The Maroons dug themselves a big hole and couldn't dig out of it despite a fourth-quarter comeback.
"The game was all evenly played except for the last two minutes of the first half," said Elgin coach Mike Sitter. "We were tied at 21 with two minutes left and they went on a 12-2 run to finish the first half. So we spent the entire second half chasing 10."
Dan Toolsie, selected to the all-tournament team, led Elgin (6-12) with 15 points while John Fortmann and Xavier Bonds added 12 apiece.
Jayston Williams poured in 21 points for Wheaton Academy.
Burlington Central 78, Hampshire 41: Patrick Mayfield led the Rockets with 18 points while Zach Schutta added 13 and Dejsani Beamon had 11. Jonathan Westlerlund led Hampshire with 7 points.
Kaneland 73, Hampshire 60: Blake Feiza paced the Knights (7-12) with 18 points while Matt Olson had 13, Wyatt Peeler 11 and Luke Brost 10. Jonathan Westerlund led Hampshire (5-13) with 18 points while Bryce Anderson scored 11 and Marcus Lazar added 10.