BURLINGTON – Hampshire’s boys basketball team showed Wednesday night one of the reasons why it’s the top seed in the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional.
After fourth-seeded Burlington Central scored the first 11 points of the game, the Whip-Purs kept their cool and turned the game around for a 49-31 semifinal win.
Solving Burlington Central’s 1-3-1 zone was the key to the Whip-Purs taking charge of the game.
Controlling the boards was also a contributing factor for Hampshire (23-5).
The Whip-Purs had more second-chance points than the Rockets.
“It came down to making shots. We struggled with that all year,” Bulington Central coach Brett Porto said “If we can’t create turnovers and get some one-and-dones on the other end, we struggle with scoring.”
Reserve Matthew Bridges finally put Hampshire on the board with 1:51 left in the first quarter with a layup. The sophomore added three more points on the Whips’ next possession with another layup and Hampshire’s only converted free throw of night.
The Rockets (14-14) started the second quarter leading 11-8. Brett Rau (eight points) opened Burlington Central’s scoring with a 3-pointer before Hampshire went on a 8-0 run to take a 16-14 lead, capped by a Tyler Crater alley-oop dunk on a long pass from Ryan Cork.
The Rockets tied the score with two Rau free throws.
A Duncan Ozburn basket gave Central an 18-16 lead at the half.
The bottom fell out for the Rockets in the third quarter when they were outscored 19-2.
An Ozburn putback with 5:11 left in the third quarter was their only points until 5:10 left in the fourth quarter.
Michael Dumoulin and Shane Hernandez both scored 10 points for Hampshire.
Moter Deng led the Rockets with nine points.