Burlington Central gets boost from Lowe in fourth quarter to beat McHenry

Burlington Central forward Myles Lowe expanded his game Friday night and did it at the most opportune moment.

The Rockets were tied with McHenry early in the fourth quarter when Lowe, a 6-foot-7 senior, took it outside. He scored his team's next eight points - six on a pair of 3-pointers - to spark the Rockets to a 53-44 victory in their Fox Valley Conference boys basketball game.

Lowe finished with a game-high 24 points and a career-best four 3s for the game, with one in the first quarter, one in the second and two more in the fourth. He almost had a third in the fourth, but his foot was on the line for one of his baskets.

"I knew we were down and I was feeling hot, so I was looking for those shots more than I normally would be," said Lowe, who tossed in 20 points in Wednesday's 60-50 win over Dundee-Crown. "Normally, I'm in the post and midrange. I was specifically looking for more 3-pointers today."

Central (5-2, 3-1 FVC) also got 14 points from Jake Johnson and outscored the Warriors (4-3, 1-3) 16-7 in the fourth quarter.

McHenry's Marko Visnjevac got a rebound basket to start the fourth, putting the Warriors ahead 39-37. Johnson scored on a putback to tie the score, then Lowe hit a 3, a long two-pointer and another 3 in a 3-minute span.

"There wasn't much to love in that game for a long stretch of time," Rockets coach Brett Porto said. "Myles made some big shots and Bennek (Braden) made some nice cuts and scored. We were able to spread it out a little bit more, which opened up some of those shots. We buckled down a little bit more defensively."

Lowe is getting a prominent role after backing up 6-9 Drew Scharnowski who is redshirting at NCAA Division I Belmont with a knee injury.

"Last year he showed us this a lot (in practice), but playing behind Drew it was tough to get on the court," Porto said. "He really improved last year. He's a very versatile big man who can do a lot of things. When he's confident, the sky's the limit for him."

Lowe hit 10 of 18 field goals and grabbed eight rebounds.

"We attacked the paint a lot better and got downhill instead of settling," Johnson said. "Myles got hot, that helped for sure. When you have a guy knocking down shots like that it's nice to have.

"We knew he was tall and he was going to help us down low, be a mini-Drew replacement. He's definitely overachieved so far this year."

Lowe hit a 3 in the third to push Central's lead to 34-29, but McHenry came back and the teams were tied at 37-37 to start the fourth.

Caleb Jett led the Warriors with 17 points and Hayden Stone added 10. But the Warriors only managed seven points in the fourth quarter.

"We made some good steps tonight," Warriors coach Corky Card said. "We played much better defensively. They were tougher tonight. They just outtoughed us."

McHenry hit 32.2% from the field for the game, making 3 of 15 in the fourth quarter.

"They're pretty good defensively, so they affected that," Card said. "We had some shots we probably should have made, we missed some gimmes, but we came back and tied it at 37-37. There were plays to be made in the fourth quarter and they made them."

Porto was much more pleased with the Rockets' defense in the second half.

"We thought we did not do a good job in the first half taking away their dribble penetration with the dominant hand," Porto said. "We really wanted to sit on their dominant-hand drives and as a unit we did a much better job."

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