Hampshire's defense stymies Burlington Central
Hampshire played solid defense against Burlington Central all night Tuesday.
For most of the game, though, the Whip-Purs couldn't get shots to fall. Once they did, Hampshire pulled away from the Rockets for a 37-20 win in Burlington.
Avery Cartee scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half, Ashley Herzing added 13 points, and Kaitlyn Millison grabbed 10 rebounds for Hampshire in the Fox Valley Conference opener for both teams.
Central tied the game at 18-18 on a pair of free throws by Samantha Origel midway through the third quarter. But the Rockets didn't score again until Origel nailed a jumper with less than 2 minutes to go in the game. By that time, Hampshire led 37-20, which held up as the final score.
The Whip-Purs' defense fueled the offense. Using occasional full court pressure, Hampshire kept the Rockets off-balance, giving them few clean looks at the basket and filling the passing lanes.
"We just said in the locker room that, even though we finally scored some points in the second half, it was our defensive intensity that we thought led to the offense in the second half," said Hampshire coach Eric Samuelson.
Central led 13-12 after a first half in which the teams combined to shoot 23% from the field and 26% from the free-throw line.
After Origel's free throws tied the game, Paige Greenhagel blocked Cartee, but Cartee grabbed the rebound and put it in, starting the Whips' 19-0 run. A layup by Whitney Thompson and another Cartee bucket made it 24-18 after three quarters.
Hampshire then scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter, with Cartee scoring 6 and Herzing 5.
"One of the adjustments that we made at halftime was, we were kind of standing," Samuelson said. "We weren't moving with intention and I said at halftime, 'Everything you do in the second half on offense has to be intentional.' And I thought they really cleaned that up where they actually made a point-A to point-B movement instead of standing and watching."
Page Erickson scored 6 points to lead Central. Origel's 4 made her the second-leading Rocket scorer.
Emma Payton had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for the home team.
Although the Whip-Purs didn't exactly set the nets on fire after the break, they created extra chances with a 36-18 rebounding advantage and 16 forced turnovers. Cartee and Thompson grabbed 6 boards apiece.