Burlington Central's seniors just refused to lose on Senior Night.
Steve Hall scored 9 of his 11 points in the second half and Sam Klein also scored 11 as Central knocked off Big Northern East champion Richmond-Burton, 54-49, Friday night on Rocket Hill.
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Central trailed most of the first half, but fought back behind Hall and fellow seniors Shane Larkin (9 points) and Zack Romando (8).
Burlington finally took the lead for good on Klein's 3-pointer late in the third quarter, then held on through a tense final period.
"I just think it was one of those nights where our seniors said, 'Not on our home court, not now,' " said Central coach Brett Porto. "It was just the effort."
"Being senior night, it was a big win," said Hall. "We're riding high right now."
Central's Rockets had a chance to build some momentum heading into next week's regionals, and finally pulled out a close game."We've had four or five real close ones this year, overtime, buzzer-beaters, and it was nice to pull out a close one at the end, especially heading into playoff time," said Porto, whose team takes on Sycamore at 6 p.m. Monday in the Class 3A Kaneland regional opener.
Everyone contributed for Central (13-13, 7-3). Larkin had 13 rebounds to go with his 9 points as Burlington outrebounded the visitors, 37-27.
Thomas Fitzgerald added 5 points, and Ray Hunnicutt had 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Things didn't start out so well for Central, which fell behind 14-5 in the first quarter. But BC chipped away.
Hunnicutt scored off Larkin's assist, then made a steal and drove for a layup to make it 18-14. Central eventually cut the deficit to one by halftime, setting up its second-half comeback.
Chad Okane had 19 points for R-B.
Grayslake North 69, Dundee-Crown 58: Ryan Smith struck for 30 points but it wasn't enough as the Chargers (4-21) fell in this Fox Valley Conference crossover game at home. Kevin Cronin added 11 points for D-C, which led 35-30 at halftime before being outscored 39-23 in the second half.