Break? What break? Burlington Central returned from a long post-tournament layoff without missing a beat.
Ray Hunnicutt scored 17 points and Sam Klein had 14 and the Rockets' full court pressure caused North Boone fits in a 76-45 Big Northern East boys basketball victory at Central Friday night.
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Shane Larkin added 9 points and 5 rebounds, Tim Sullivan scored 9 points, and Mike McCurdy had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists for the Rockets.
Central immediately took control with its pressure defense, leading 6-0 before the Vikings ever got the ball over half-court.
"We worked on it all week," said Hunnicutt of the press. "Our rotations were a lot better than at DeKalb. We got steals, turnovers, and points off that."
North Boone fought back, using four 3-pointers to take its only lead at 14-13. But the Rockets outscored the visitors 9-0 the rest of the first quarter and never looked back.
An easy win was just what the Rockets (5-8, 2-0) needed in the first of back-to-back games coming out of a long layoff following the DeKalb Christmas tournament.
"We haven't played in awhile, and then we come out like this at home and get a big win," said Central coach Brett Porto. "Hopefully we can carry some of this energy and tempo into (tonight vs. Kaneland)"
Central's pressure hounded the Vikings into 31 turnovers for the game. Although the Rockets came out strong, they ratcheted up the intensity even more after intermission. They held North Boone to just 16 points after halftime, taking away the open 3-point looks that had been the Vikes' bread and butter in the first half.
A 10-0 run late in the third quarter stretched the Rockets' lead to 66-36. Five different players scored during the spurt. In all, 14 players saw action for the Rockets and 12 scored.
Jake Simmons led North Boone with 11 points.