Girls Basketball: Hampshire downs visiting Burlington CentralCentral's Camille Dela Cruz (23) is defended by Hampshire's Grace Jakubowski (3) during the first quarter at Grafelman Park in West Dundee, Ill., on Saturday, December 3, 2011. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: December 4, 2011 12:04AM
Hampshire looked nothing like a team that had struggled to 1-5 start this season on Saturday night, but instead like a team desperate to turn its fortunes around.
The Whip-Purs (2-5) went into attack mode, forcing 32 turnovers, in a 63-38 rout of visiting Burlington Central. It’s the first meeting between the former Big Northern Conference rivals since Hampshire joined the Fox Valley.
“I know it’s still a big deal to the girls whether it’s conference or not,” said Hampshire coach Ed Haugens. “It’s always a big game for us and we really needed this win. We really played hard. We pressured the ball aggressively and actually looked to shoot and attack the basket. That’s something we haven’t been doing enough, but I’m very happy with the progress and growth we made tonight.”
Hampshire’s swarming defense stymied the Rockets offense right from the start. Central turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter. The Whip-Purs scored the first seven points of the game. Central managed to pull back to within 15-13 midway through the second quarter, but a Michelle Dumoulin basket on a lob past into the post followed by a three-pointer from Grace Jakubowski put the Whip-Purs back firmly in control with a 20-13 advantage.
Hampshire led 28-20 at the break.
“We have some kids who can run the floor,” said Haugens. “So we wanted to try and turn it into a bit of a track meet. We went helter-skelter pressuring the ball and were able to stretch the court out.”
Hampshire’s offense really kicked into high gear in the second half as it connected on 15-of-21 shots from the field to continue to build on its lead. Dumoulin led the way with a game-high 19 points.
“We were able to run our fast break effectively,” said Dumoulin. “We not only hit the gaps but we did a good job of making the extra pass to get good looks at the basket. Once the shots started falling one basket led to another and then another and so on.”
After struggling with turnovers in the first half, Central (3-4) was slowed by foul trouble and poor shooting in the second half. Starters Jo Jo Desantis, Jessica Laird and Allison Colby were all limited in the second half with foul trouble. The Rockets shot just 9-of-30 from the field in the second half.
“We’ve been working on our offense a lot lately, but tonight we just refused to run it,” said Central coach Jenna Real. “That’s probably the most pressure on the ball we have seen all year and it kind of caught us off guard and took us out of our offense.”
Colby had 12 points to lead the Rockets in scoring. Laird added 10.