Burlington Central prevails on senior night, takes KRC crown
Burlington Central will exit the Kishwaukee River Conference as the undisputed conference champion after a 58-43 victory over Woodstock North Friday night on Rocket Hill.
Going into the last regular season game, Central and Johnsburg, which already finished conference play, were at the top of the league with nine circuit wins a piece. With the victory, the Rockets clinched sole possession of first place.
Central (23-8, 10-2) moves to the Fox Valley Conference next season.
Friday was the second meeting in six days for the two teams. Scoring a season low number of points, Central bested Woodstock North 45-41 last Saturday. Friday's result was closer to the Rockets' average of 64 points a game, but it was not pretty.
Both teams had a bad scoring night. The Thunder shot 27 percent (12 of 45) while Central hit 38 percent (20 of 52).
"Finding a way to play some defense to make up for our silly mistakes on offense," was the key for staying in the game, according to Burlington Central coach Brett Porto. "We mostly played man and for the last couple of weeks, we really got four, five guys on the same page which had made a difference for us."
Burlington Central led 11-8 after the first eight minutes. Ryan Schaffter tallied all of Woodstock North's points in the frame. The senior guard scored a team-high 18 points.
After a Schaffter 3-pointer with 2:29 left in the first period, Woodstock North was scoreless for the next seven minutes. Cole Brey (10 points) ended the drought with 3:30 left in the first half with a layup to end a 12-0 Rockets run. Burlington Central led 26-14 at the half.
The Thunder's shooting woes continued into the third quarter, scoring only four points in the first five minutes, all on free throws.
The Rockets held a 39-26 advantage starting the fourth quarter. Woodstock North finally found its range in the last period and went on a 12-7 run.
Woodstock North (15-14, 6-6) pulled within 46-38 on a Bradley Baseggio trey with 3:49 left to play. But that was as close as they would get. The Rockets responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Jake Lenschow (10 points) and Logan Andersen (11 points) to end the spurt.
"We didn't quit, we kept playing," said Woodstock North coach Dale Jandron. "We hung around. I'm proud of the kids, they have been playing hard."
Burlington Central's Patrick Mayfield led all scorers with 19 points. The 6-5 senior is now second on the Central's career scoring list with 1.549 points. Zach Schutta is tops on the list with 1,652 points.