Johnson's 25 points lead shorthanded Burlington Central past Prairie Ridge
No Andrew Scharnowski. No problem for the Burlington Central Rockets.
Scharnowski, a Division I recruit who will play next year at Belmont, missed Friday's game with Prairie Ridge with an illness.
Led by 25 points which included five 3-pointers from sophomore Jake Johnson, the Rockets were able to cruise past Prairie Ridge 68-55 in Fox Valley Conference action in Burlington Friday night.
"It is definitely Jake's best game of his career," said coach Brett Porto. "With Andrew out, Jake really stepped up."
Johnson knew he had to step up with the absence of Scharnowski.
"Everybody had to step up without Andrew," said Johnson. "I found my spot and was able to hit some 3s."
Leading 11-7 late in the first quarter, the Rockets (5-2, 3-1) scored the final 4 points to lead 15-7 after 8 minutes.
Burlington Central kept the momentum going into the second quarter scoring the first 14 points. During that pivotal surge, Matthew Lemon scored 6 points including a 3, Johnson scored 5 with a trey and Nic Gouriotis also connected from beyond the arc. The Rockets turned an 8-point first quarter lead to 29-7 with 4:11 left before intermission. During a 6-minute span covering the first and second periods, the Rockets outscored the Wolves 18-0.
"We really upped our ball pressure and really agitated them," said Porto. "We got easy shots off our defense."
Methodically whittling away at the Rockets advantage, Prairie Ridge climbed to within 48-39 on a layup by Sam Loedings with 6:37 left in the game. The visiting Wolves could get any closer.
Backing Johnson with 17 points was Gouriotis who scored 10 in the fourth quarter.
Lemon scored 10 with 8 assists and 5 steals.
"It was a typical Lemon game," said Porto. "He was aggressive and got the ball to our scorers."
Prairie Ridge (3-4, 1-3) was led by Loedings with 18 while John Feury scored 13.
Prairie Ridge's girls team defeated Burlington Central 36-31 on Friday. Addison Meyer led the Wolves (5-4, 3-1) with 9 points; Emma Payton paced the Rockets (5-3, 2-2) with 9 and Page Erickson had 8.