Johnsburg trips up Burlington C. boys; Rockets girls roll
Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith hasn't been happy with his team's defensive effort recently.
That dynamic changed Thursday night in Johnsburg.
Holding the Skyhawks to 4 points in the first half and 0 points in the second quarter, Central's defensive effort keyed an easy 50-21 Kishwaukee River Valley Conference win over host Johnsburg Thursday night.
"Our last game against Marengo we played very poorly at the defensive end," said Smith. "We have really been working hard on defense in practice and it paid off tonight. Our press was effective and we got easy layups and shots off our press. We contested their outside shots and their 3s. We played well at the defensive end tonight."
Central's (17-7, 9-1) defense limited Johnsburg to only 9 field goals in 45 attempts for 20 percent.
The Skyhawks made only 2-of-10 from beyond the arc for 20 percent.
Central, 10-of-25 from 3-point range for 40 percent, got an early lift from Lilliana Moretti who made her first three 3-pointers and gave the Rockets a 9-0 lead to start the game.
Moretti, 4-of-7 from 3-point range for the game, led the Rockets with 14 points.
"I hit the first one and felt good," said Moretti. "Coach Smith always gives us the green light to shoot."
Smith has a simple offensive philosophy.
"We either get a layup or shoot a 3," said Smith. "Most of our kids have the green light to shoot the 3."
The Rockets are hoping to get back leading scorer Kathryn Schmidt, who has been out with a PCL strain since Dec. 20, as early as Saturday's game against Sycamore.
It was simply a long night for the Burlington Central Rockets.
Johnsburg, for the first time in coach Mike Toussaint's 8 years, defeated Burlington Central 67-60 in Kishwaukee River Valley Conference action in Johnsburg Thursday night.
"Our shot selection wasn't good and it seemed like we were chasing all night and it was an uphill battle," said Central coach Brett Porto. "On defense, we gave them too many easy shots. I was disappointed because I don't think we played with a desire. We didn't execute on either end."
Patrick Mayfield and Jake Lenschow combined for 52 of the Rockets' 60 points.
Mayfield scored 31 with four 3s and Lenschow scored 21 with a pair of 3s.
Johnsburg, leading 46-40 after three quarters, seized control of the game by scoring the first 6 points of the fourth quarter all by standout Zach Toussaint to give the Skyhawks a 52-40 lead with six minutes left.
"It has been a long time coming for these kids," said coach Mike Toussaint. "It is an awesome feeling. It has been 8 long years. We played so well at the defensive end and contested every shot. Mayfield is an awesome player but we made him earn his points."
Zach Toussaint led the Skyhawks with 26 points with 8 assists while Gibson Groves added 16 for the winners.