WOODSTOCK – Woodstock proved to be proficient at getting the ball to the most difficult spots for Woodstock North to defend.
One was cramming it inside to 6-foot-7 center Damian Stoneking, an extremely tough matchup for the smaller Thunder. The other was the free-throw line, where guard Jordan Turner camped out for most of the fourth quarter.
Turner was 10 of 10 from the line in the fourth quarter, while Stoneking was 7 of 11 from the field in the second half as the Blue Streaks defeated North, 63-51, in their Fox Valley Conference Fox Division boys basketball game Saturday night at James M. Shipley Memorial Gymnasium.
Turner, who was shooting 62.8 percent coming into the game, hit 13 of 14 for the game. As the Thunder kept it close in the fourth quarter, Turner kept getting to the line and draining free throws.
“If we shoot 50 percent, it’s a completely different game,” said Turner, who tied Stoneking with game-highs of 19 points. “Thankfully, I was able to come through. We had a new game ball and it felt really good.”
Woodstock (14-5 overall, 4-1 FVC Fox) had pushed its lead to 36-26 in the third quarter, but the Thunder (7-11, 1-3) cut the lead to 40-37 late in the third.
“It was trust and bonding,” said Stoneking, who had 13 rebounds. “When things got hard, we stayed together. I’m blessed to have great teammates who keep feeding me the ball.”
Nick Herscha, a 6-3 junior, led the Thunder with 10 points. North had a 16-8 lead late in the first quarter.
“We knew coming in it would be important to focus on points in the paint,” Streaks coach Alex Baker said. “We had a lot of guys doing things to set him up and Damian was the benefactor.”
North had five other players with seven or more points. The Thunder’s defensive problems were compounded with Herscha’s foul trouble. He fouled out with 7:55 remaining.
“We didn’t execute what we were supposed to be doing [on defense],” Thunder coach Steve Ryan said. “The kids have been good at making people do things that aren’t normal (because of our defense). We did a good job in the first half, but we had that bad run in the third quarter.”