Britt gets timely help from reserves
RANTOUL — Travis Britt has shown he can score this season.
Britt, Rantoul's senior guard and the area scoring leader heading into Friday night at 20.4 points per game, has dazzled from seemingly everywhere on the court in the season's first month.
He's more than happy, however, to let his teammates contribute.
The Eagles received timely three-pointers in the second quarter from senior guards Kelly Foster and Ryne Worthington to open a double-digit lead they never relinquished against Prairie Central, and Rantoul cruised to a 56-37 Corn Belt Conference victory.
"We started off slow," Britt said. "Them coming off the bench and hitting some big jump shots for us played a strong role. They're usually underestimated, but when they come in and hit shots, they play a big part in the game."
Worthington and Foster helped the Eagles (7-2, 2-1) take control with a 15-0 second-quarter run, connecting on three three-pointers after Prairie Central (4-5, 1-4) cut an 11-2 deficit to 15-10.
"We got into some foul trouble, and then some of the guys were tired," Rantoul coach Brett Frerichs said. "Once we got the lead, we were stagnant on offense and stopped moving. They came in and gave us a big lift."
Worthington hit two three-pointers and Foster canned one to kick-start the burst and give Rantoul a 30-12 halftime lead.
"I was open, and I just took the shot," said Worthington, who finished with six points. "They just happened to fall. Sometimes they do; sometimes they don't. We went in strong in the half and ended up finishing strong, thanks to my man, Travis Britt."
Britt had 13 points, 13 rebounds, five steals, three assists and three dunks, including a reverse on a fast break late in the second quarter to close the run.
Eagles sophomore guard Johnny Jones (10 points), senior guard Jackson Carver (nine points, three rebounds), senior guard L.C. Franklin (eight points, four rebounds) and senior forward C.J. Morris (seven points, four rebounds, four steals) paced the balanced effort.
"We know Travis can't always get the 20 points we want him to get," Worthington said, "so when we have other guys coming in and have five or six players putting up six to 10 points, that helps out a lot."
Before Friday, Foster was 1 of 16 from beyond the arc, but he knocked down his first three-point attempt from the left wing to put Rantoul up 18-10 with 7:05 left in the second quarter.
"It felt good," Foster said. "It shows that I'm losing that little brick streak. We came off the bench as role players doing our job and just trying to produce for the team."
The Eagles forced 25 turnovers, including 15 in the first half, and held Prairie Central to 33 percent shooting (15 of 45) from the field. Senior center Lucas Diller led the Hawks with 10 points.
"I thought we played kind of scared in the first half," Prairie Central coach Wade Heisler said. "They're a good team. They get up and pressure you. They play hard. They do a lot right. I thought it took our boys two quarters to get settled and match that intensity."