Scharnowski's 34 lead Burlington Central to 20th win
As it got ready for their Fox Valley Conference rematch with Dundee-Crown, Burlington Central knew it could ill afford a repeat of their previous match last month in Carpentersville when it ran into a hot-shooting Charger unit that sent them back home with a defeat.
Especially with their share of the FVC lead at stake as they entered Tuesday night's game tied with Huntley at 9-1.
Plus not to mention its seeding in the Class 3A sectional that will be held at Central next month that it will seek to be competing in while hosting.
Thanks to a key third quarter charge, the Rockets maintained their share of first place in the Fox Valley with a 61-45 win on Rocket Hill.
It also that gave Central (20-4, 10-1) its second consecutive 20-win campaign and seventh in its last eight full winter seasons played.
"(Central) Coach (Brett) Porto came at us these past two days of practice," Rockets senior Center Drew Scharnowski said. "He really wanted us to come out with a lot of fire today and I think the guys responded really well. I think (the FVC) is a super-competitive league. If you're not ready to play every night, you're going to lose. Teams are hungry all the time and they go and play their hardest. I'm super happy because (Dundee-Crown) is a competitive team. Obviously they beat us last time (58-52 on Dec. 2) and they keep fighting and I think we responded really well."
The Rockets erased a six-point deficit in the first period by going on a 17-0 run over the final 4:02 beginning with a Matthew Lemon 3-pointer and then featuring 7 of Scharnowski's game-high 34 highlighted by one of his four slam dunks and topped off by a triple leaving them up 26-15 after one.
Central saw a 10-point early second half advantage (35-25) fall by the wayside as D-C went in a 9-2 run that brought them within 37-34 on a Kali Freeman bucket with 3:59 left in the third.
Then eight more points from Scharnowski (8 rebounds, 5 assists) as part of a 10-2 tear lifted the Rockets out of danger as they went back up by 11 (47-36) with 6:40 remaining.
The Chargers (8-12, 4-7) could get no closer than 49-41 on a Jared Russell three with 5:25 left.
Lemon (8 points, 9 steals), Nic Gouriotis (8 points) and Caden West (4 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) followed Scharnowski.
D-C swingman Tyler DiSilivio and guard Zach Randl led the way with 11 points apiece for the visitors.
"We had a difficult time matching up with No. 21. He played really well," Chargers coach Lance Huber said. "I thought our effort was good. Hopefully we can get on the same page and stay on the same page. It's always a process and the road to success is always under construction and we're hitting a few potholes. We've just got to find a way to get the road smoothed out."