Basketball

High school boys basketball: Woodstock, Johnsburg advance at Class 3A Richmond-Burton Regional

RICHMOND – Woodstock and Johnsburg faced the challenge of beating a team for the third time in a season Monday night. The two boys basketball teams took on Woodstock North and Harvard, respectively, in Class 3A Richmond-Burton Regional first-round games.

The Blue Streaks never trailed in their crosstown rivalry matchup, taking down Woodstock North, 56-44, to advance to play the regional's top seed, Marengo, in a semifinal Tuesday.

Point guard Matt Shook, who has brought a renewed energy to the team since an early-season injury, led Woodstock (12-17) with 20 points.

"I think the first few baskets got me in a little groove," said Shook, who scored 10 of Woodstock's 17 first-quarter points. "I had great teammates getting me the ball in positions to score. Any wins before the postseason don't mean you're going to come in and beat them again. It's win or go home, so you have to come ready to play."

The Blue Streaks did just that, taking a 17-8 lead after the first quarter and 27-13 at halftime, while holding Woodstock North (5-21) to just 29 percent shooting (17 of 57) over the course of Monday night's game.

Woodstock coach Al Baker said he was worried about the Thunder's ability to rebound coming into the game but thought his team's defense and work on the glass helped contribute to a win that allows his group to move on.

"That was by far my biggest concern," Baker said. "I had us, at worst, even with them on the boards, and to do that with a team that rebounds very well is a great effort by our guys tonight. Even putting aside the crosstown rivalry … that is a good team (in Woodstock North). They probably deserve better than what their final record indicated."

Justin Turner (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Evan Bridges (10 points) joined Shook in double figures for Woodstock. Vic Ortiz scored a game-high 23 points (16 in the fourth quarter) for Woodstock North.

Johnsburg coach Mike Toussaint referenced the NCAA tournament to his team before Monday's game, saying that seeds don't matter, but rather effort does.

Toussaint saw his team go on a 32-6 run from the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the second quarter to take command of Harvard in an 86-56 victory in the nightcap.

The Skyhawks advance to Tuesday's semifinal against host R-B, a team they have beaten in two of three matchups this season.

"[Tuesday is] going to be fun," Toussaint said. "We played them three times and have a lot of guys in [the locker room] that are fired up to play. That place is going to be rocking. That game is what you do summer stuff for, that's what you do weight room stuff for, games like this."

Sophomore Zach Toussaint led the charge Monday, scoring a game-high 19 points. Brody Frazier joined him in double figures with 13 points, adding 10 rebounds in the 30-point victory.

"Focus is key in these games," Zach Toussaint said. "You have to give 100 percent. If you give 99 percent, you may not win. Every team getting this far wants it, and you have to want it more. R-B tomorrow, at their place, it's going to be fun, but these games are what you play basketball for."

Johnsburg (14-16) had 14 players score Monday.

Harvard (5-22), which ended the season losing its final 18 games, was led by senior Roy Amaya Jr. with 15 points.

Unsung Hero

Mike Nowakowski

Johnsburg, so., G

In his first varsity game, Nowakowski came off the bench to score seven points and added a block to help Johnsburg to an 86-56 win over Harvard.

The Number

20: 3-pointers made by the four teams – Woodstock, Woodstock North, Harvard and Johnsburg – Monday (in 57 attempts).

And another thing …

In what has turned into a miniature Kishwaukee River Conference tournament, the Class 3A Richmond-Burton Regional semifinals have top-seeded Marengo taking on Woodstock, with Johnsburg vs. the host Rockets to follow Tuesday.

WOODSTOCK 56, WOODSTOCK NORTH 44

Woodstock North 8 5 9 22 – 44

Woodstock 17 10 17 12 – 56

WOODSTOCK NORTH (44)

Schaffter 0 0-0 0, Mergl 3 0-0 6, Haynes 0 0-0 0, Ortiz 7 6-8 23, Ramirez 2 1-3 5, Patenaude 0 0-0 0, Medina 4 0-0 8, Given 0 0-0 0, Grover 0 0-0 0, Gavers 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 7-11 44.

WOODSTOCK (56)

Bridges 3 2-2 10, Shook 8 4-5 20, Turner 5 1-2 11, Gardner 3 2-6 8, Leith 3 0-0 7, Shinherr 0 0-0 0, Gippert 0 0-0 0, Peake 0 0-0 0, Grisiola 0 0-0 0, Kohley 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 9-15 56.

3-point field goals: Wodstock North 3 (Ortiz 3), Woodstock 3 (Bridges 2, Leith).

Total team fouls: Woodstock North 15, Woodstock 11.

Fouled out: None.

Intentional fouls: Bridges (Woodstock).

JOHNSBURG 86, HARVARD 56

Harvard 10 10 20 16 – 56

Johnsburg 22 22 23 19 – 86

HARVARD (56)

McDowell 5 4-6 14, Valadez 1 0-0 3, Amaya, Jr. 6 0-0 15, Chavera 1 0-0 2, Castaneda 3 0-0 7, Cooke 4 0-2 8, Stephens 2 0-0 5, Oros 0 0-2 0, Peralta 0 0-0 0, Escobar 1 0-0 2, Overlee 0 0-0 0, Rivera 0 0-1 0, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Perkins 0 0-0 0, Lopez 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 4-11 56.

JOHNSBURG (86)

Sobiesk 3 0-0 8, Kelly 3 1-2 9, Toussaint 7 4-4 19, Frazier 6 1-4 13, Conroy 1 0-0 3, Jordan 2 1-1 5, Nusser 0 2-2 2, Interrante 1 0-0 2, Nowakowski 1 4-8 7, Stern 0 0-0 0, Beitzel 2 0-0 4, Shelton 0 1-2 1, Rowe 2 1-2 5, Groves 1 3-3 5, LaBarbera 1 0-0 3. Totals: 30 18-26 86.

3-point field goals: Harvard 6 (Amaya, Jr. 3, Valadez, Castaneda, Stephens), Johnsburg 8 (Sobiesk 2, Kelly 2, Toussaint, Conroy, Nowakowski, LaBarbera).

Total team fouls: Harvard 23, Johnsburg 11.

Fouled out: None.

Technical fouls: Amaya, Jr. (Harvard).

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