McHENRY – McHenry guard Greg Johnson didn’t get upset at his subpar shooting performance against Woodstock North. He adapted and still made an impact.
Johnson, usually one of the Warriors’ most reliable outside shooters, took his game inside in the fourth quarter and scored 11 of his 13 points. McHenry, which chased the Thunder most of three quarters, eventually won, 60-50, in their Fox Valley Conference crossover boys basketball game Tuesday at McHenry’s West Campus.
McHenry, which was shooting 50 percent from the field going into the game, hit 34.1 percent in the first three quarters. The Warriors (6-1) could not find their outside touch and Johnson, who leads the team with 16.2 scoring average, was 0 of 7.
“[Assistant] Coach [Rob] Niemic always gets on me to do something different out there, be hard to guard,” said Johnson, who was 4 for 7 in the fourth quarter. “Hard to guard’s getting to the rim if you’re not making shots. Some games, those will all go in and this wasn’t one of them, you have to find another way to do it.”
McHenry scored 22 points in the fourth quarter with no 3s and hit 6 of 8 free throws to seal the win.
“We slowed it down a lot and started focusing on getting rebounds and getting easy points,” said forward Kyle Postal, who led all players with 19 points.
North (1-5) pushed its lead to 38-30 with 4:50 remaining in the third quarter.
The Thunder got big games from guards Josh Jandron (16 points) and Junior Ortiz (13) and looked ready for to knock off the Warriors.
“What we did tonight was play tremendous defense,” North coach Steve Ryan said. “We might not be the best offensive team around, but these kids came to play defense tonight. I couldn’t complain about our effort. As a whole game, to come on the road and be in this kind of atmosphere, it was one of our best games, end to end.”
Johnson hit a 15-foot jumper to tie the score at 44-44 with 6:01 remaining, then scored twice inside around a Postal free throw as the Warriors jumped ahead, 49-44. North could not get closer than three points after that.
McHenry coach Tim Paddock thought it was a good test his team passed early in the season.
“This was the first game we didn’t shoot it well,” Paddock said. “A lot of those shots went in in the past for us, but they’re not going to every single game. Things are not always going be smooth in a basketball game. We’re not always going to hit eight or nine 3s in a game. That was a good sign we found a different way tonight.”
Cody Freund added 11 points for the Warriors and Nick Higgin grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.