WOODSTOCK – The Blue Streaks anticipate that they are going to be a much more balanced offensive team this season.
With 6-foot-7 junior Damian Stoneking in the paint, scorer Jordan Turner on the outside and with versatile wings like Keeondae Benjamin and Andy Buhrow, the Woodstock boys basketball team plans to be a force in the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division.
However, on Tuesday, coach Al Baker admitted his team went away from that versatile style in a 45-38 loss to Hononegah in the Woodstock Hoops for Healing Thanksgiving Tournament.
Facing the difficult 1-2-2 pressing zone by Hononegah, Woodstock could not get much going in the first half.
“We did get the ball inside against their zone as much as we should have,” Baker said. “We tried to work things around the perimeter to let things open in the middle.”
Stoneking, playing most of the game and making a home in the paint, scored only four first-half points before he, and most of the Blue Streaks, began righting the ship in the second half.
“We’re a much better team,” said Stoneking, who finished with nine points. “Even when we played better in the second half, we didn’t play up to our standards.”
Turner and Buhrow hit back-to-back 3s with about a minute to play in the game to cut the deficit to 39-35. But Hononegah scored most of its fourth-quarter points at the line, going 12 of 15 from the stripe.
Hononegah (2-0) forced the Blue Streaks (1-1) into 20 turnovers for the game. However, the Streaks were happy to see such a difficult zone to start the year.
“Hononegah wrote the book on the 1-2-2 press,” Baker said. “We saw that the things we’ve been working on can work, but I think we just need to continue to get things sharper.”
After a victory over Round Lake on Monday and Tuesday’s loss, the Blue Streaks still are trying to figure out where they stand as a team.
“This year, things are coming together good,” Turner said. “I know we had a tough game there and we kind of lost it in the first half, but I think this game shows how much this team has grown.”
Turner did most of his damage in the second half by driving aggressively to the basket to lead Woodstock with 13 points. Buhrow added six. Hononegah’s Jacob Doyle dominated the Blue Streaks en route to 24 points.
Larkin 71, Cary-Grove 32: Larkin was too much to handle for the Trojans (1-1).
Facing a more experienced and athletic team in the Royals, Cary-Grove fell behind 23-8 after one quarter and never recovered.
Nine Trojans scored as Clay Marunde and Dean Lee each had five points.
Tournament notes: The site’s for Friday’s games in the resumption of the Woodstock Hoops for Healing Thanksgiving Tournament will be switched.
Games originally scheduled for Woodstock North will be moved to Woodstock. The Blue Streaks and the Trojans will play two games Friday to accommodate Cary-Grove fans and players attending Saturday’s IHSA Class 5A football championship in Champaign.