BURLINGTON – Less than 30 seconds into Tuesday’s non-conference girls basketball game at Burlington Central High School, Alison Colby scored with her left hand in the low post to give the Rockets a quick lead. That was how things would go all night, as visiting St. Charles North had a lot of trouble down in the blocks in a 53-32 loss.
Colby, a six-foot sophomore, scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“Normally, we’re really good at guard play and 3-pointers,” Colby said. “But tonight, my teammates were seeing the open passes and they were giving it to me and I just focused on finishing.”
It was actually a trio of 3-pointers that helped the Rockets (23-4) gain their initial separation from the North Stars (8-18) late in the first quarter. Freshman Shelby Holt hit the first one from the left baseline and classmate Kayla Ross connected from the opposite corner before senior Camille Dela Cruz got in the score book with a 3 from the right wing to put Burlington Central up 17-9.
North trailed 26-17 at the half and pulled to within 7 points early in the third quarter when 5-10 sophomore Nicole Davidson finished off a press break. With 11 points, Davidson was the only North Star to finish in double figures in scoring.
The Rockets responded with a 13-2 run to blow the game open. Colby scored three times down low to help start the scoring spree and back-up post player Becca Gerke, a six-foot freshman, showed she also had a nice touch down low with a pair of baskets to finish it off.
“I thought Alison had one of her best games, finishing strong at the basket,” Burlington Central coach Mark Smith said. “We’ve been working on that because she’s a pretty good player and so is Becca. I thought they did a nice job getting the ball inside to them.”
Gerke finished with 8 points and four rebounds and Holt contributed 8 points and seven rebounds to the winning effort, helping the Rockets dominate the glass.
“We’ve got to work on box-outs because we’re not the tallest team,” Smith said. “I thought we were aggressive going at the boards and I think the last two or three games that’s really paid off. That was an impressive job.”
Burlington Central had 39 rebounds compared with just 15 for North.
“They had to have 15-20 offensive boards,“ St. Charles North coach Colleen Backer said of the Rockets. “We just weren’t blocking out. We weren’t finding a body. We weren’t doing a lot of the little things that are big. And a lot of that is not skill -- that’s effort.”
Overall, Backer said she was not pleased with the effort by the North Stars, particularly on the defensive end.
“I don’t believe we’re near the team that you saw this evening and I don’t believe our team does, either,” Backer said. “I have to believe that we’re going to take this experience tonight, reflect, learn from it, and really get fired up.”
Colby was fired up about the future of the Rockets, who have just two seniors and one junior on the roster.
“I think we’re coming along great with being young and all,” she said. “We’re really adapting to the older teams. We’re matching the competition and we just need to bring it into post-season.”