Porto ties Burlington Central record for most wins
Burlington Central led Hampshire 26-14 at the end of the first quarter Tuesday night thanks to a run-and-gun style of play.
The Rockets swished the net eight times, including five from beyond the arc during the first eight minutes of play.
Starting in the second quarter, Hampshire clamped down on defense, slowed the Rockets offense and got back into the game.
Thanks to a crucial loose ball recovery and clutch free throws in the last seconds of the game, Burlington Central pulled out a 62-57 victory over its Fox Valley Conference rival.
It was coach Brett Porto's 216th Central career victory and ties him with Dave Gilliland for the most wins as a Rockets boys basketball coach.
With 33.2 seconds left in the game, Hampshire's Jackson Milison sank two free throws to bring the Whip-Purs within 56-54.
The ball got loose on the ensuing inbounds play. After a scramble, Central's Gavin Sarvis came up with the ball and Porto quickly called a timeout.
"It was big. It was a one-possession game and they had a chance to tie it," Porto said. "It was huge for him to get the basketball, securing it off the inbounds."
When play resumed, a layup by Josh Hudgens (18 points) was blocked by Adam Ugochukwu. Ugochukwu was whistled for a foul on the play. Hampshire's response to the call earned the team a technical. While Hudgens was unable to convert his free throws, Jake Lenschow canned the two technical free throws to widened the margin back to four.
Lenschow grabbed the inbounds pass when play resumed and was immediately fouled. The senior, who led all scorers with 20, made both shots to put the Rockets up 60-54.
Hampshire's Keynan Davis (19 points) drained a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left to cut the margin to three but once again Lenschow hit two free throws to make it a 5-point game. Davis's shot at the buzzer fell short.
"In the second half we did just enough to get it done and get out of there with a win," said Porto.
"They are a really good team and they challenged us," Hudgens said. "So it's nice to get a win against them."
Hampshire (18-8, 11-4) played the Rockets even in the second quarter, scoring 12 points to Central's 11 to trail 37-26 at intermission.
The Whip-Purs held Central (19-8, 10-5) to six points in the third quarter while scoring 11 to trail 43-37 at the start of the last period.
Nicholas Erickson (11 points) and Zach Bailey (10) scored in double digits for Hampshire. Zac Schmidt finished with 12 points for the Rockets.