Yorkville tops Burlington Central for Sycamore title

By Jared Birchfield
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/26/2022 11:12 PM

Yorkville took a big step toward achieving one of its 2022-2023 season goals Saturday night by defeating Burlington Central 62-47 in the championship game of Sycamore's Leland G. Strombom Holiday Tournament.

It the first time the Foxes have won the title of the 60-year-old tournament.


"Burlington Central is a team that wins 25 games every year and our motto tonight was if we beat them, we will make a name for ourselves," said Yorkville coach John Holakovsky. "A lot of people don't think of Yorkville basketball, and we are trying to change that. A game like this is a great way to start our season and get some recognition."

Sterling brought home the third-place trophy by topping Dundee-Crown, 77-47.

The Foxes led through out most of the game. Central tied Yorkville four times in the early going and took only one lead.

Yorkville (3-0) scored the first three baskets of the contest and lead 15-10 with a minute left to play in the first quarter. Rocket Nicholas Gouriotis' 3-point buzzer-beater from the top of key cut the lead to 15-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The senior opened the second quarter with a putback to tie the game, but Dayvion Johnson responded with a trey from the right corner to put the Foxes back up, 18-15. Johnson led Yorkville's scoring with 16 points including four 3-pointers. Gouriotis finished the night with 11 points.

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Central (2-1) took its only lead of the night, 22-21 on Matthew Lemon's steal and layup at the 5:37 mark of the second quarter.

Another Gouriotis bucket tied the game at 24-all with less than two minutes left in the half. The Foxes closed out the period on a 9-0 run. A layup by Jory Boley (14 points) ended the string and gave Yorkville a 33-24 lead at intermission.

While Central's Drew Scharnowski scored 24 points, Yorkville's defense made the senior work for the points by clamping down on the Rockets' inside game.

"Defensively, they came out and took it to us," Central coach Brett Porto said. "They did a good job of challenging and contesting the passing lanes. We did get some good looks but unfortunately, a lot of them didn't go down."

"We came out and played defense," said Johnson. "Overall, their team is very good and we gave them a fight. We had more energy tonight."


The Foxes still led 43-31 after a lackluster third quarter that featured more turnovers (10) and fouls (10) than baskets (seven).

Holakovsky also felt his squad is getting more comfortable working together on the court.

"We've got a lot of new pieces, guys coming up from the sophomores and we've got a couple of new guys," said the Yorkville coach. "The big thing we have been talking about is gelling together as a team. And we are doing that."

Johnson and teammates Jacob Homerding and Lebarron Lee were named to the all-tournament team. Scharnowski and Lemon also made the all-tournament team.

Sterling (2-1) led wire-to-wire in the third-place game, with a 46-23 advantage at the half and 68-38 lead after three quarters.

The Golden Warriors' Sterling's Lucas Austin led all scorers with 21 points. Teammate Andre Klaver tallied 20. Zachary Randl scored 11 for the Chargers (1-2).

"Sterling played great tonight and we did not," said D-C coach Lance Huber. "I thought we did some better things offensively but they stuck it to us and that about all you can say."

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