Burlington Central starts fast, blows out Prairie Ridge

  • Central's Zac Schmidt looks for a path to the hoop around Prairie Ridge's Taidhgin Trost during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire.

    Central's Zac Schmidt looks for a path to the hoop around Prairie Ridge's Taidhgin Trost during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire. Matthew Apgar/for Shaw Media

  • Burlington Central's Nick Carpenter, center, shoots the ball around Prairie Ridge's (from left:) James Muse, Samuel Baser, and Bennett Barr during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire.

    Burlington Central's Nick Carpenter, center, shoots the ball around Prairie Ridge's (from left:) James Muse, Samuel Baser, and Bennett Barr during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire. Matthew Apgar/for Shaw Media

  • Prairie Ridge's Carter Evans takes a shot on the hoop around Central's Gavin Sarvis, left, and Andrew Scharnowski, right, during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire.

    Prairie Ridge's Carter Evans takes a shot on the hoop around Central's Gavin Sarvis, left, and Andrew Scharnowski, right, during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire. Matthew Apgar/for Shaw Media

  • Central's Gavin Sarvis, center, swats away the shot by Prairie Ridge's Luke Wolf, left, during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire.

    Central's Gavin Sarvis, center, swats away the shot by Prairie Ridge's Luke Wolf, left, during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire. Matthew Apgar/for Shaw Media

  • Prairie Ridge's Carter Evans comes crashing down on Central's Zac Schmidt on the rebound during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire.

    Prairie Ridge's Carter Evans comes crashing down on Central's Zac Schmidt on the rebound during their boys basketball game at Central High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Hampshire. Matthew Apgar/for Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 2/23/2021 9:50 PM

Prairie Ridge knew what was coming and had tried to prepare.

But at actual game speed, Burlington Central's defense was just too much.

 

"When we really focus on our communication and our rotations and our different 'man' looks we throw out there, we can be pretty stifling with our pressure," Rockets coach Brett Porto said. "That got to them early."

Burlington came out fast and strong, forcing nine turnovers in the first quarter, and went on to defeat Prairie Ridge, 70-46, in their Fox Valley Conference boys basketball game Tuesday night. The Rockets (7-1, 5-0 FVC) lead the conference by a game over Cary-Grove with four to play.

"We just played aggressive and really shut them down," Rockets guard Gavin Sarvis said. "(The pressure defense) gives us more push and motivation and helps us be confident in our shots, and confidence is key when you're trying to score points."

Prairie Ridge (3-2, 3-2) had committed five turnovers when Wolves coach Ryan Smith called his first timeout at 5:39 of the first quarter.

"Their guards are athletic, and they'll fly around and trap the ballhandler and get up and pressure you really well," Smith said. "They play at a different speed than I feel like we've seen from everybody else. We sped up the tempo, which led to a couple quick turnovers, and we dug ourselves into a hole pretty quickly tonight."

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Burlington led, 12-5, after the first quarter and pushed it to 33-17 at halftime. Sarvis led the Rockets with 17 points and 7 rebounds. He finished with a steal and a dunk with 3:55 to go in the fourth quarter and fouled out on the next possession.

Carson Seyller fired in 15 points with three 3-pointers, and Zac Schmidt added 13.

Jackson Otto led Prairie Ridge with 15 points and three 3s. Bennett Barr scored seven.

The Wolves started 3-0, but lost their last two games to Cary-Grove and Burlington, the FVC's top two teams.

"We weren't used to seeing that much pressure," Wolves point guard Mason Loucks said. "We knew it was coming, we just have to be better prepared for that. We have to take better care of the ball early. They're the most athletic team we've seen so far."

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