Hampshire falls to Crystal Lake Central
For about 14 minutes, Hampshire and Crystal Lake Central were locked in a back-and-forth struggle. Then, the Tigers found another gear and the Whip-Purs couldn't keep up. Central scored the last 7 points of the first half and the first 6 of the second, then held on for a 58-44 nonconference win in Hampshire.
Connor Bartesh had 15 points, 4 rebounds, and a block in less than 3 quarters for the Tigers. Zach Bailey scored 11 points off the bench for Hampshire, but no one else reached double figures.
"We're inexperienced varsity-wise," Hampshire coach Harvey Featherly said. "Basketball's a game of runs, man. They're going to score a couple of buckets. It's how you respond, and right now we're just not responding very well."
Hampshire tied the game at 19 on a bucket by Zakkery Percival, but Ryan Van Witzenburg answered with a 3 for the Tigers. Bartesh added a bucket, then fed Aidan Ritter in transition for a 26-19 halftime lead.
The Tigers led by as many as 20 before both coaches cleared their benches.
Featherly said the Whips (0-3), who have no starters back from a year ago, just need to learn what it takes to win at the varsity level.
"We're relying a little bit too much on that," he said. "It has to be the other intangibles. The last 3 games, it's been the same concept: they play harder than us and good things happen for them. We have to keep working, keep grinding."
With about 25 fans in the stands, Hampshire took its last lead at 17-16 on a bucket by Tyler Mella.
The Whips shot the ball well when they shot it, making 51%, but they didn't do it often enough. They turned the ball over 24 times, while the Tigers consistently filled the lane and jumped into the passing lanes, leading to numerous empty possessions for the home team. And the Tigers were able to convert those turnovers into points at the other end.
Percival finished with 6 points for Hampshire. Bailey Woods hit a pair of 3s in the second half to match Percival with 6 points, and Ryan Smekrud added 5.
Hampshire held a 20-19 rebounding advantage against the taller Tigers, but no individual had more than 3.
Cam Keilman added 11 points for Central.