Burlington Central snaps Hampshire's 11-game win streak
Burlington Central used stifling defense to snap host Hampshire's winning streak Wednesday.
Hampshire had averaged 59 points per game throughout an 11-game streak that began on Nov. 30, but the rival Rockets held the Whip-Purs 19 points below that average in 54-40 Fox Valley Conference road win.
The Whips enjoyed a height advantage, but the Rockets used intense ball pressure to thwart Hampshire's passing. Central coach Brett Porto credited sophomore Zac Schmidt for keeping Hampshire 6-5 senior Collin Woods in front of him most of the night, thereby keeping the veteran from facilitating the Hampshire offense.
"We focused on ball pressure and not letting them view the court," Central senior Jake Lenschow said. "We knew if we were all up in 'em, they couldn't do what they normally do. We were just trying to fluster them any way we could."
Burlington Central (10-5, 3-4) held first-place Hampshire (11-4, 5-1) to 40% shooting (15 of 37). Meanwhile, the Rockets won the rebounding battle 30-20 and forced 14 turnovers while committing only 8.
"I just thought we were out of sync," Hampshire coach Mike Featherly said. "I thought we were just trying to press. Our shot selection was not very good. We were kind of rushing shots. I don't know if we were just in a hurry to be successful and abandoned our process a little bit, but we just couldn't get anything going. Our bread and butter is getting he ball inside and we didn't do a very good job of that."
Hampshire senior Nick Erickson scored 7 of his team-high 12 points in the second half, but it was not enough to offset a balanced Central offense led by Schmidt (17 points), Lenschow (12), senior Josh Hudgens (10) and sophomore Carson Seyller (9).
Central led 26-23 at halftime but Schmidt sank a pair of third-quarter 3-pointers, including one at the buzzer that staked the Rockets to a 35-28 lead.
Hudgens and Schmidt each scored from the paint early in the fourth quarter to extend the advantage to 13 points.
Central jumped to a 6-0 lead at the outset and never trailed.
"We felt like we'd played 16 good minutes against Peoria Notre Dame and Huntley recently and we were really trying to put a complete game together," Central coach Brett Porto said. "I felt we were really able to do that from tip to the end."