High school boys basketball: Richmond-Burton beats Woodstock, sets up regional title vs. Johnsburg

Rockets shut out Woodstock in second quarter

Richmond-Burton's Luke Uhwat
Richmond-Burton's Luke Uhwat

MARENGO – Richmond-Burton senior Shane Byrne left Wednesday’s game early with foul trouble, but fellow forward Luke Uhwat carried the load inside for the Rockets.

Uhwat, a junior, grabbed 13 rebounds and helped the Rockets to a 54-31 win over Woodstock in the Class 3A Marengo Regional semifinals. R-B (18-12) advances to face Johnsburg (18-12) in the regional championship game at 7 p.m. Friday in Marengo.

“That would mean the world to us,” Uhwat said. “Nobody expected this team to come and win a regional championship and now we have a chance.”

Uhwat was all over the boards. He also scored eight points in what was a balanced Rockets offensive attack.

All five starters scored at least eight points. Jeff Jankowski led the way with 13 points. Byrne, though he had the early foul trouble, finished with 11 points.

“We just had energy,” Byrne said. “Our defense was turning into offense. We were getting everybody open and getting the extra pass.”

Jankowski, a junior, said Uhwat is a solid all-around athlete for the Rockets. Coach Brandon Creason liked what he saw Wednesday.

“Luke was everywhere, in every capacity,” Creason said. “He was fantastic. With Shane in foul trouble, Luke really filled that void.”

Woodstock (8-21) jumped out to a five-point advantage in the first quarter. In the second, the Blue Streaks fell into a rut offensively. Woodstock did not score a point in the second quarter, and the drought lasted two minutes into the third quarter.

“This is the third time we’ve seen Richmond-Burton this year. Their defense is not a surprise to us; we know what’s coming,” Woodstock coach Al Baker said. “The first two times – they’re good, and they’re going to turn you over here and there – but that didn’t kill us. Today, for whatever reason, we just couldn’t pass the ball; we didn’t dribble well; we just turned it over too many times.”

R-B’s extended pressure led to 19 Woodstock turnovers in the game. Many of them led to points for the Rockets.

R-B extended its lead to 11 points at halftime and then 20 points by the end of the third quarter.

“We’re a pretty good defensive team,” Jankowski said. “We just had to put the pressure on them, and we know maybe they’ll [commit] a lot of turnovers, and that leads to easy baskets. That’s usually our mindset going into games like this.”

The Rockets’ win sets up a rubber match with Johnsburg in Friday’s regional final. The teams split their two regular-season matchups.

For Woodstock, the season comes to an end. Baker took a moment to sub out his seniors one-by-one in the final minutes of the game so they could receive one final ovation from the Streaks' fans.

“They meant a lot to our program,” Baker said. “They showed a lot of toughness. Each of them individually has a story of what they were able to accomplish in their high school career. I’m proud of them.”

Seniors Mikey Gardner and Tyler Peake led Woodstock with 12 and nine points, respectively.


Luke Uhwat, Richmond-Burton, Jr., F

Uhwat, a 6-foot-1 forward, pulled in a game-high 13 rebounds and added eight points for the Rockets.


12: R-B will try to win its first boys basketball regional title in 12 years on Friday night. The Rockets last brought home a regional plaque in 2006.


Johnsburg and R-B split their previous two matchups during Kishwaukee River Conference play in the regular season. Johnsburg won, 65-56, on Jan. 29, while R-B won, 75-67, on Feb. 9.

Richmond-Burton 54, Woodstock 31

Woodstock 14 0 7 10 — 31

Richmond-Burton 12 13 16 13 — 54

WOODSTOCK (31): Peake 4 1-2 9, Bridges 2 0-0 6, Gardner 5 1-4 12, Adams 0 0-0 0, Gippert 1 0-0 2, Anderson Jr. 0 0-0 0, Grisolia 0 0-0 0, Shinherr 0 0-0 0, Zanck 0 0-0 0, Shallebarger 0 0-0 0, Dawdy 1 0-0 2, Hanson 0 0-0 0, Princer 0 0-0 0, Swanson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 2-6 31.

3-point goals: 3 (Bridges 3).

RICHMOND-BURTON (54): Townsend 4 0-2 8, Marzahl 3 2-2 9, Jankowski 5 2-4 13, Uhwat 4 0-0 8, Byrne 5 1-1 11, Bassett 1 0-0 2, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Bailey 1 0-0 3, Tasker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 5-9 54.

3-point goals: 3 (Marzahl 1, Jankowski 1, Bailey 1).

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