Boys Basketball: North Boone edges Burlington Central
Updated: January 5, 2012 10:49PM
Monday’s 53-52 loss to visiting North Boone may have ended on a missed jumper in the lane by Ray Hunnicut at the buzzer fo Burlington Central, but the final outcome came down to a whole lot more than just that. The Rockets let several oppurtunities to take control of the game slip away. Most glaring is probably the 1-for-8 shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. The Rockets also shot just 17-of-53 shots (32%) from the field. It was the first game back after the Christmas break for the Rockets as they dropped to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the Big Northern East Conference.
“We just didn’t play very well,” said Central coach Brett Porto. “We didn’t value the basketball enough on defense and the missed free throws really hurt us.”
North Boone (6-4, 2-1) had the led by as many as seven points in the first half, but only led 23-21 at the break. That gave way to a wild second half that saw six lead changes and three ties. Moter Deng converted a three point play to give the Rockets its first lead 36-35 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Ryan Ritchie early in the fourth quarter again put the Rockets up 45-43. However, the Vikings answered back with seven straight points to pull ahead 50-45 with 3:58 remaining.
The Rockets would make one more push. Another Ritchie three pulled Central to within 52-51 with 1:58 left. Moments later Bryce Warner hit the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line to tie the score at 52-52.
After a defensive stop the Rockets had a chance to win it. They took over possession with 1:10 left and ran the clock down to under 10 seconds, but Ritchie missed a three pointer from the right wing. The Vikings Tim Huber was fouled going after the rebound with 4.4 seconds left. He hit the front end of a one-and-one for the go ahead basket.
“He was in a similar position about a week ago and missed it,” said North Boone coach Jason Weber. “So, I’m really happy for him . He needed this one. I was just real pleased we were able to keep the game at our pace. They can run the floor if you let them. It was a little ugly, but sometimes that’s the way you have to do it.”
Central had one last chance after Weber missed his second free throw. Charles Horton grabbed the rebound and the Rockets called time with four seconds left. Warner inbounded the ball form just short of halfcourt to Hunnicutt, who drove free into the lane. However, his floating jumper rattled off the back iron at the buzzer.
We had the ball in the hands of our best two scorers on the final two plays,” said Porto. “ They got decent looks but the shots didn’t fall. But we shouldn’t have let the game come down to that. We had plenty of oppurtunities before that. We just didn’t get it done.”