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Kaneland defense too much for Burlington
By Kevin McGavin | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 1/5/2013 10:12 PM

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In a boys basketball game in which every possession was deeply prized, Matt Limbrunner made the most of his touches.

The Kaneland senior post scored a game-high 16 points, and his back-to-back field goals early in the fourth quarter was the springboard for the Knights in their 38-30 victory over Burlington Central Saturday night in Maple Park.

The Rockets missed 15 of their 17 second-half shot attempts, including all 9 tries in a disastrous final quarter.

“When we had our chances (offensively), we took advantage of them,” said Limbrunner. “We find the open spots in the zone.”

The third quarter nearly did not see a made field goal as well.

Kaneland (8-6), nursing a 19-16 lead into the break, and Burlington Central did not convert from the field for almost the first seven minutes of the quarter.

The Rockets’ James Raney scored in transition to tie the game at 22-22 with 67 seconds to play, and the Knights’ Cole Carlson found the target for their first goal of the third 24 seconds later.

Had it not been for Reed Hunnicutt knocking down an improbable 3-pointer — which he banked in from beyond the top of the key for the only field goal from beyond the arc all night — the teams’ total field goals for the third quarter would have been two.

But the Hunnicutt prayer actually gave the Rockets (5-10) their final lead of the night at 25-24.

Kaneland junior John Pruett broke the ice one minute into the fourth quarter, and the field goal would give the Knights the lead for good.

Limbrunner scored on consecutive possessions to give Kaneland a 30-26 lead.

The remainder of the game was a combination of cat-and-mouse with the Knights playing keep away underscored by a parade to the free-throw line.

Burlington Central, whose interior attack was fatally weakened by Moter Deng and Duncan Ozburn picking up their fourth fouls a minute apart in the third quarter, could not buy a basket.

“(The two starters’ foul troubles) really hampered what we wanted to do offensively,” Burlington Central coach Brett Porto said. “It’s tough to win any games when you can’t hit any shots. (Kaneland) played good man-to-man defense.”

Burlington Central finished 9-for-39 from the field for the game.

“We’re not a team that can score 80 (points) a game,” Kaneland coach Brian Johnson said.

The Knights’ second win this weekend was a carbon copy; neither Yorkville nor Burlington Central were able to score more than 30 points.

“That’s way under our (defensive) goal (as a team),” Limbrunner said.

Malik Harris’ 9 points paced the Rockets.