Burlington Central finishes unbeaten in KRC

The Burlington Central boys basketball team left Woodstock North Friday with an 83-65 win over the host Thunder that clinched an undefeated Kishwaukee River Conference championship.

The question is, will the back-to-back KRC champs and top seed in North's Class 3A sectional be back in Woodstock in two weeks for a shot at a sectional title?

"We talked about that, and in the last game of the regular season it's the only thing I talked about," said Rockets coach Brett Porto. "That's the goal. This is our second year playing here in conference and we've done fine so far. By this point, some of the guys have played in so many gyms in their life they're fairly used to the different gyms."

The Rockets (25-3, 12-0) will have to go through Aurora Central Catholic's gym in regionals first to make the trek back up Illinois 47. But since last season the Rockets have showed a level of comfort in the Thunder gym with 2 wins and a 74 points per game average. In this one BC raced out to a 23-14 first quarter lead and led 42-27 at halftime on a 51.6 percent shooting clip. They also turned up the heat in the third with 27 points in the quarter as senior Zach Schutta registered a game-high 18 points (4 rebounds). Junior Patrick Mayfield poured in 17 points (10 in the third) and senior Dejsani Beamon added 14 points and 4 steals.

"We got to see what it was like and got a feel for the rims and everything," said Mayfield, who went 7 of 10 from the field. "It's like an almost home court advantage."

Sophomore Jake Lenschow also hit double digits with 11 points as home court wasn't an advantage for the Thunder (7-18, 3-9), who committed 21 turnovers but shot a 54.6 percent clip. Although North made some gains after losing to Central by 44 in January and totaled 10 3-pointers, it still watched Schutta total five 3s and Mayfield two, his last coming during a stretch where the Rockets led by as much as 26. Ten players scored for BC, which had 14 steals and a 29-20 advantage on the boards, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to 8 second chance points.

"I know they're going to score, you're not going to outscore them you have to hold them down into the sixties to beat them," North coach Dale Jandron said. "They're real good and talented and shoot the ball real well. They're talented at a lot of positions so you're going to have to play a perfect game to beat them."

The Thunder were led by Collin Mergl's 17 points and Gauge Gavern's 10 points. At one point North chipped the lead to 13 in the fourth quarter, but BC was just too much just like in its 91-47 win earlier this season. And there is a sentiment that the Rockets want some postseason action at North as well.

"Hopefully we're going to be back here," said Schutta, who drained his first 3 shots, all 3s. "Coach said once we get into the locker room we need to look in there and say 'we need to be here.' "

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.