WOODSTOCK – Damian Stoneking had one of his most complete games of the season, leading fourth-seeded Woodstock to a 62-48 win over fifth-seeded Woodstock North in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A Woodstock Regional.
The Blue Streaks (14-14 overall) had five players score in double figures, including a team-high 12 from Stoneking. The 6-foot-7 center was an integral piece for the Blue Streaks as he and teammate Nick Kubiak (11 points) helped shut down the lane and protected the rim from the Thunder's explosive guards.
"This was one of Damian's best games," Blue Streak coach Al Baker said. "He played with a lot of energy and just had fun out there, which is important for him.
The Thunder backcourt of Josh Jandron and Leonel Ortiz gave the Blue Streaks problems, especially in the first three quarters. Jandron is a strong interior passer and he took advantage of Woodstock's commitment to closing out hard on shooters.
"Josh [Jandron] is a fantastic player," Baker said. "We wanted to get out and contest his shots and that kind of hurt us because it left some lanes and he took advantage."
Jandron drove the basket with success all game. He dished out three assists as he looked for a cutting teammate instead of shooting. The junior finished with two points.
"We talked about the middle being there," Thunder coach Steve Ryan said. "We hit some shots on the outside which opened it up and Josh got there so many times but we couldn't convert."
When Woodstock countered by sending out its big lineup of Stoneking and Kubiak, Ortiz started to take advantage of the extra space on the perimeter. The senior guard scored a game-high 16 points on 4 of 5 shooting from behind the arc as he gave the Thunder (6-22) some hope in his best performance of the season.
"I just knew what was at stake," Ortiz said. "I thrive on games with a packed crowd and I just wanted to make something happen. It's tough that it's all over."
Woodstock will face top-seeded Marengo at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.