Burlington decks Yates Center in TVL boys’ title showdown

Register Sports Editor

YATES CENTER — On the line was the Tri-Valley League championship as Yates Center High’s Wildcat boys and the Burlington High Wildcats met Tuesday.
Burlington overpowered Yates Center early on its way to an 87-78 victory.
“We couldn’t get enough stops. Burlington played like champions. They were dynamic offensively,” said Jeff Jones, Yates Center head coach.
“We had a great run of three-pointers in the fourth quarter to get it down to eight points at one time. But they shot the ball very well.”
Michael Bettega had a career-high 42 points, 35 in the second half, for Yates Center. Bettega hit five of the team’s 15 threes on the night. He also went 13 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Burlington led 18-15 after one quarter but took control of the game in a 26-11 second-quarter run. Yates Center used its press late in the third quarter.
“We finally were able to disrupt their offense a little with the press,” Jones said.
Yates Center trailed 64-43 heading into the fourth quarter. Yates Center fired in 35 points in the final eight minutes but Burlington countered with 23 to maintain control.
The loss knocked Yates Center down to a tie for third place in the TVL at 10-4. Burlington (15-5) won the league title with a 12-2 mark.
Yates Center (14-5) finishes the regular season with a non-league makeup game Thursday at West Elk.
Yates Center appears to have the No. 1 seed in next week’s Class 2A substate hosted by Northeast High in Arma. Official seedings and pairings will be released
later today.
Besides Bettega’s 42 points, Brent Matile had 22 points and seven assists for Yates Center. Yates Center was 26 of 47, 55 percent, from the field which included 15 of 28 from three-point range.
Burlington shot 56 percent, 28 of 50, from the field and cashed in 25 of 35 free throw tries. It held a 30 to 20 rebounding edge.
Ryan Louia poured in 27 points for Burlington. Blake Higgins and Corey Smith each scored 17 points. Mackenzie Redding had 16 points.
Yates Center (15-11-17-35—78) (FG/3-pt): Gregg 0-0-1-0, Matile 4/4-2-3-22, Lenard 1/1-0-3-5, Bettega 7/5-12-4-42, Hughes 1-0-3-2, Owens 2/1-0-5-7, Smith 0-0-1-0, Tressler 0-0-4-0. TOTALS: 11/15-15-24-78.
Burlington (18-26-20-23—87) (FG/3-pt): Black 2/1-2-4-9, Higgins 6-4-2-17, Mahoney 0-0-1-0, Bluma 0-0-1-0, Redding 1/3-5-4-16, Smith 2/2-7-2-17, Doebele 0-1-2-1, Louia 11-5-4-27. TOTALS: 22/6-25-18-87.