Balanced Burlington Central puts away Hampshire
The Burlington Central girls basketball machine flies on more than one engine.
Yes, the Rockets are led by senior center Taylor Charles.
Charles scored 15 points, 10 in the first quarter including three 3-pointers as Burlington Central knocked off pesky Hampshire 47-38 in the Fox Valley Conference opener for both teams in Hampshire Wednesday night.
Charles got plenty of help as Rylie Duval scored 11 and Rebecca Carani 10. Duval scored 7 points in the first quarter with a 3-pointer as the Rockets (4-1, 1-0) led 26-10 after 8 minutes. The Rockets, who made 5-of-10 from 3-point range and 10-of-18 from the field, forced 11 first-quarter turnovers.
"We put a lot of pressure on them to start the game and jumped the passing lanes," said Duval. "It was a good way to start conference play. One of our main goals is to win conference."
Carani also scored 7 in the first quarter including a 3.
"We shared the ball and got off to a good start," said Carani. "We are a very unselfish team. It was a good way to start the conference."
Burlington Central coach Collin Kalamatas knows how important Carani and Duval are to the success of the Rockets.
"They both have a lot of experience and play wi h a lot of confidence," said the Central coach. " They are both great leaders."
Down by 16 after 8 minutes the hosts Whip-Purs refused to quit s they outscored Central 28-21 in the final three quarters.
The Whips (3-3, 0-1) outscored the Rockets 10-3 in the second quarter and sliced the lead to 29-20 after 16 minutes. Ashley Herzing led Hampshire with 11 first-half points.
With Kaitlyn Milison scoring 5 points including a 3 and Herzing and Chloe Van Horn burying treys, the Whips were down 38-31 after three quarters of play.
On a 3 by Herzing, Hampshire climbed to within 41-36 with 1:08 left but couldn't get any closer.
Herzing led the hosts with 18 points, including three 3-pointers. Milison scored 9 points with 15 rebounds.
"Kaitlyn played an outstanding game," said Hampshire coach Eric Samuelson. "She played her assignment on Taylor perfectly. It's pick your poison against Taylor. She is a great player."
Hampshire, which committed only 9 turnovers in the final three quarters, got 6 points n a pair of 3s from Alexandra Montez.
For the game, Hampshire was 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Whips played without junior point guard Ceili Ramirez, who is out with an ACL until at least January.
"I am really proud of the kids," said Samuelson. "I love this team. They work their butts off."