WOODSTOCK – Jessica Villie and her Marengo girls basketball teammates couldn’t make a basket for more than half of the third quarter of play.
After gaining a comfortable lead at halftime during the opener of the Class 3A Woodstock Regional, the Blue Streaks got back into the game, coming within a point.
So Villie and her teammates decided to turn the defensive pressure up a notch, and it worked brilliantly for the Indians, as they prevailed over Woodstock, 54-45.
“We forced them into turnovers, and we ran our offense pretty well,” Villie said. “We were just putting a lot of pressure on them because we knew that’s how we were going to force turnovers.”
Woodstock refused to let Marengo walk away with an easy victory, though. The fourth quarter was a foul-fest on the Blue Streaks part, but the Indians executed well at the free throw line.
Blue Streak junior forward Cody Brand – who had a team-high 22 points and displayed an impressive mid-range jumper – expected a gritty performance from the Indians.
“We knew they were going to come outwith a chip on their shoulder since we were ranked higher than them,” Brand said. “We were hoping we would win, but it just didn’t happen tonight.”
The Indians will face another familiar foe in Woodstock North, a team they lost to once during the regular season, a 41-25 Thunder win.
“I think that when they play a team twice, you get a chance to see what the adjustments are after game one; there’s not a while lot of surprise when game three comes around,” said Marengo coach Nick Rode. “So playing [Woodstock North] will be a bit of a mystery.”