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Basketball

High school boys basketball: Woodstock North trying to get back on track with postseason ahead

BURLINGTON – Woodstock North could not wait to get back into the gym for Saturday’s practice and start fixing things.

A four-game skid is not an ideal way for the Thunder to enter the postseason, but what is ahead matters more than those games.

“We have two practices and it’s a whole new season,” North guard Zach White said. “The seeding is nice, nice to have a good spot, but we have two practices to get it right.”

The Thunder fell to Burlington Central, 58-43, in their Kishwaukee River Conference game Friday, which gave the Rockets their third consecutive conference title.

North (15-14, 6-6 KRC) was in contention for the conference title last week before taking two losses to Burlington, and one each to Johnsburg and Woodstock.

Thunder coach Dale Jandron said the recent struggles are due mostly to a struggling offense – the Thunder averaged about 41 points in those past four games.

“We can’t put together a full game,” Jandron said. “We’re been struggling to put the ball in the basket.”

North shot 27.3 percent from the field (12 of 44) against the Rockets (22-8, 10-2) and went a stretch of 7:39 in the first half without a point. Still, No. 2 North is the highest-seeded team in next week’s Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional with a chance to win the first boys basketball regional title in the school’s 10-year history.

“We have to get our head right,” said guard Ryan Schaffter, who led the Thunder with 18 points and four 3-pointers Friday. “We’re going to get after it at practice and come out ready on Tuesday.”

North, which has the school record for victories, can guarantee its first winning season with a semifinal victory at G-K. The Thunder will face either No. 7 Belvidere or No. 11 Harvard, who meet in Monday’s play-in game.

North has only two regional wins in school history and has played for a regional championship only once, in 2013, losing to Woodstock, 64-29.

“That would mean everything to us. That’s been our goal since Day 1, stepping on the court this year,” Schaffter said. “I’ve been a part of this team since my sophomore year, and we haven’t had much success, but this year we have a shot at winning that thing.”

Thunder forward Matt Fallaw said it’s all about mindset.

“We have to go hard, no messing around, get that mentality we had at the start of the season and toward the middle when we were going strong,” Fallaw said. “We had faith in each other, we weren’t playing selfish, we were playing team ball, not afraid to pass.”

White said the Thunder had seven- or eight-pass possessions and moved the ball quickly when things were going well.

“Right now our possessions, we’re holding the ball, our shots aren’t falling,” he said. “For the most part, we’re making ourselves work a lot harder then we did earlier in the season.”

STAR OF THE GAME

Ryan Schaffter, Woodstock North, sr., G

Schaffter scored a team-high 18 points and hit four 3-pointers in the Thunder’s 58-43 loss to Burlington Central.

THE NUMBER

7: The number of minutes the Thunder went in the first half without scoring during one stretch.

AND ANOTHER THING...

Woodstock North can guarantee itself the first winning season in the school’s 10-year history with a win in Tuesday’s Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional.

Burlington Central 58, Woodstock North 43

WOODSTOCK NORTH (43)

White 0 3-4 3, Schaffter 6 2-2 18, Fallaw 0 2-4 2, Coalson 1 0-2 2, Zinnen 0 0-0 0, Brey 3 4-5 10, Baseggio 2 0-0 6, Pena 0 0-0 0, Zieman 0 0-0 0, Salas 0 2-2 2, Filetti 0 0-0 0, Langreck 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 13-19 43.

BURLINGTON CENTRAL (58)

B. Seyller 2 0-0 4, Andersen 3 0-0 9, Moring 2 0-0 4, Mayfield 6 5-6 19, Lenschow 4 4-6 12, Finstein 0 0-0 0, Hudgens 2 4-6 8, Blakley 0 0-0 0, Pearson 0 0-0 0, Wells 0 0-0 0, C. Seyller 0 0-0 0, Fischer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 13-16 58.

Woodstock North 8 6 12 17 – 43

Burlington Central 11 15 13 19 – 58

3-point goals: Woodstock North 6 (Schaffter 4, Baseggio 2), Burlington Central 5 (Andersen 3, Mayfield 2). Total fouls: Woodstock North 14, Burlington Central 19. Fouled out: Moring.

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