AURORA – The Burlington Central girls basketball team overwhelmed Hampshire, 59-35, in the first IHSA Class 3A Aurora Central Catholic Class Girls Basketball Regional semifinal game Wednesday night.
The Rockets will face St. Edward for the regional crown Saturday.
The Green Wave won the second semifinal contest over Rosary in another lopsided contest, 60-36.
“I was very pleased. We haven’t seen Hampshire in a while and they played great team basketball last night,” Central coach Mark Smith said. “We knew we were going to get a great effort from them.”
“We gave it our best effort in terms of attitude. Just too many turnovers,” said Mike Featherly, Hampshire’s coach. “With a team like that you just have to take care of the basketball.”
Hampshire (12-15) held a brief lead early in the game, going up 9-8 on a layup by Peyton DeChant (10 points) with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Rockets (23-5) responded with an 11-3 run to end the quarter with a 19-11 lead.
Central continued to dominate in the second quarter, outscoring the Whip-Purs, 15-7, to hold a 34-18 lead at the half.
The Rockets’ defense forced 10 Hampshire turnovers in the first half. Samantha Pryor was the main benefactor, scoring 20 of her game-high 23 points in the first 16 minutes.
“I thought for a majority of the game, the press made them get out of their offense, which did us a lot of favors,” Smith said. “We got a lot of turnovers out of it.”
The Whip-Purs made a run at the Rockets to start the second half, scoring three of the first four baskets of the third quarter to pull within 36-25 at the 4:30 mark. Central clamped down on its defense and held Hampshire to two baskets during the rest of the quarter and returned its lead to 16 (45-29) to start the fourth quarter.
“We got some good looks and knocked them down. I thought we were pretty close to making a good run,” Featherly said. “And then they got a layup from Pryor, a steal, and that took a little steam out of our sails.”
Alison Colby scored 10 points for the Rockets. Teammates Shelby Holt and Samantha Cruz both chipped in eight.
Emma Benoit also scored 10 points. Becky Dumoulin scored eight points for the Whip-Purs.
In the nightcap, St. Edward (19-8) scored the first 11 points and cruised from there. Rosary (11-16) rallied to close the gap to six at the end of the first quarter, 16-10, but that was the closest the Royals would get. The Green Wave held a 27-16 advantage at halftime and widened their lead to 46-20 at the end of the third quarter.
St. Edward’s Madelyn Spagnola led all scorers with 25 points. Cecile Rapp scored 13 points for the Green Wave and teammate Clarissa Ramos notched 10.
Rosary senior Rachel Choice scored 15 points. Emily Bakala chipped in six points and Taylor Drozdowksi added five to the Rosary effort.