Hampshire gets back on track
Hampshire made it clear from the outset that its recent struggles were history.
Forward Nick Erickson knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the first minute against Dundee-Crown.
Guard Collin Woods jammed home an alley-oop lob from Jackson Milison for the Whip-Purs' next basket.
On the other end, the man-to-man defense almost held the Chargers without a field goal for the first quarter as the Whips halted their three-game losing streak with a 58-37 victory Friday in their Fox Valley Conference boys basketball game.
"We needed it bad to get momentum back on our side," said Erickson, a 6-foot-7 senior who led all players with 21 points. "We've played some tough opponents the past three games and we were ready to bounce back. It showed when we came out strong in the first half, the first quarter especially."
Erickson was 6 of 7 from the field in the first quarter and scored 15 points.
"They were open looks," Whips coach Mike Featherly said. "It wasn't forced. (Erickson) is shooting pretty well from the 3-point line and took some good shots. We got a lot of wide-open looks. The last couple games, the ball kind of got stuck in people's hands. Tonight, there was a lot of sharing."
Hampshire (12-6, 6-3 FVC) lost to Burlington Central, Cary-Grove and Huntley after winning 11 consecutive games. C-G and Huntley are the top two teams in the FVC.
Featherly said the game plan was simply to play hard and play unselfishly.
"We were playing our brand of basketball," Woods said. "We followed what coach has been preaching all season, we were sharing the ball. Unselfishness got us off to that start."
D-C (8-8, 4-4) did not get a field goal until Ryan Hodor tipped in a miss to beat the first-quarter buzzer. Hampshire led, 19-3, to end the quarter.
"(Hampshire) played great and made a bunch of shots," Chargers coach Lance Huber said. "That's the name of the game, putting the ball in the basket. We had a hard time against their defense. They were tremendous tonight, that's why they won the game."
Hampshire shot 62.5% (15 of 24) in the first half to take a 37-15 lead. Milison tossed in 10 points, Jeremy Rosa added eight and Woods had seven.
Sophomore forward Kennon Cook scored nine of his team-high 11 in the second half for D-C.
"It was good to see," Featherly said. "Defensively, we were aggressive. We weren't aggressive (enough) the last couple games. We kind of went back to what we were doing when we were successful."
Erickson said it didn't matter who got the points, but was glad to give his team a lift.
"It was just the game plan," Erickson said. "Props to our coaches. They gave me good looks and I was knocking down the shots. I was feeling myself. It was special, but it's not about me, it's about the team. We're in it to win it."