WOODSTOCK – Coming off a tough loss to Marian Central the night before, the Cary-Grove boys basketball team came out a little shaky in the final game of the Hoops for Healing Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday against host Woodstock.
The Trojans fought through the early game struggles right before the half into the third quarter to erase a deficit and take a comfortable lead in their 55-46 victory over the Blue Streaks.
Woodstock led throughout most of the first two quarters when the Trojans went on a bit of a run. Cary-Grove scored five points in the final 15 seconds of the second quarter and then outscored the Blue Streaks 19-10 over the next nine minutes to take an 11-point lead that Woodstock could not recover from.
“I think it changed when we wanted the tempo to be more up and down and not let them play their half-court style of game, so even though we were behind early in the second, we liked the tempo,” C-G coach Ralph Schuetzle said. “We went on a little run, and from there we were able to run our stuff down the stretch.”
Woodstock did manage to narrow its deficit to six with 36 seconds left in the game, but Cary-Grove made its free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
C-G got a boost from their leading scorer, Jason Gregoire, in the third quarter, when he made two of his three 3-pointers on the night. Gregoire was well covered throughout most of the first half, but still managed to lead the team with 15 points in the game.
Nick Barr came off the bench to score 10 points and hit two big 3-pointers early in the game for the Trojans. Tyler Szydlo added eight points in the win.
The win was a big one for the Trojans (2-2) coming off a tough loss Friday to Marian Central.
“We really started getting going in transition and pushing the ball, so that my teammates and I finally got some open looks to hit a few big shots,” Gregoire said. “It was good to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss like that – a good win here for us in their place.”
The Blue Streaks (1-3) lost control of the type of game they wanted to play in the third quarter as the Trojans switched the play to a more up-tempo style that Woodstock couldn’t keep up with.
A big part of Woodstock’s game is trying to get the ball inside to their big guys, Nick Kubiak (6-foot-7) and Damian Stoneking (6-7). The Trojans’ tallest player is listed at 6-4, so the Blue Streaks had a clear size advantage.
Stoneking took advantage, leading all scorers with 17 points on five baskets and a 7-for-10 shooting day from the free-throw line.
“I felt like it was better,” Woodstock coach Al Baker said. “We played defensively much better and I felt good about that. And, offensively, we have to work on moving around more; teams aren’t going to let us just throw the ball to our big guys.”
Alex Ferguson scored 10 points for the Blue Streaks, going 5 for 7 from the line in leading the offense early. Mason Sutter added five points in the loss.
Marian Central 72, Round Lake 57: Adam Pischke had another big game for the Hurricanes, scoring 19 points to lead Marian Central to a victory on the final day of the tournament. Pischke converted three 3-pointers and went 6 for 6 from the line.
The Hurricanes (4-1) pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Round Lake, 22-11, to get the win. Ben Schnepf added 16 points for Marian Central, with 14 coming in the second half.
Belvidere 53, Woodstock North 46: The Thunder (0-4) outscored Belvidere, 22-9, in the fourth quarter but came up short in their comeback bid.
Woodstock North was led by Nikolaus Herscha’s 15 points. Drake Creighton scored 10 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.