JOHNSBURG – Four weeks couldn’t pass quickly enough for Johnsburg senior guard Kayla Toussaint.
In her second game back after being sidelined for a month by a right ankle sprain, which caused her to miss five of the Skyhawks’ games, Toussaint began finding her rhythm Monday against Woodstock North.
Toussaint led a productive night by Johnsburg’s guards, finishing with 15 points as the Skyhawks took care of business against Woodstock North in a 51-33 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division win.
The Skyhawks (9-15 overall, 4-6 FVC Fox) led the entire game with nine different players scoring. Sophomore forward Jazza Johns added 10 points – all in the second half – while senior Erika Szramek scored 11 points off the bench for Johnsburg.
“It’s definitely tough coming back from [being out] four weeks, but my teammates have helped me,” Toussaint said. “I feel like I’m ready for playoffs, and we’re looking good.”
Johnsburg commandeered a 14-3 lead through the first quarter, thanks to a mix of defensive pressure and an offense that spread around the ball. Woodstock North’s sloppiness with the ball didn’t help the Thunder (9-15, 2-7) prevent the Skyhawks from building a double-digit lead. The Thunder committed seven turnovers in the first quarter.
“When we play with a lot of energy, we have a chance to do well, and I was really proud of that,” Johnsburg coach Brad Frey said. “It was a fun game. I think their energy sent us over the top.”
Woodstock North fell behind by 15 points on a 3-pointer by Johnsburg’s Szramek two minutes into the third quarter. But the Thunder began chipping away at the Skyhawks’ lead at the free-throw line. Woodstock North made 7 of 12 free throws attempts in the second quarter to trim Johnsburg’s lead to eight points, 22-14, at halftime.
The Skyhawks were forced to play without Johns for most of the first half because of foul trouble. Already without junior forward Trace Chase, who missed the game because of a bruised knee, Johnsburg relied on its perimeter play to produce much of its offense.
Woodstock North took advantage of the Skyhawks’ being without two of their most effective post players. Sophomore center Haley Ahr scored a team-high 15 points, despite the Skyhawks packing their defense in the paint to try to limit her effectiveness.
But the Thunder weren’t able to get much production collectively on offense as only four players managed to score, including junior guard Ashley Jones, who finished with seven points.
“We started out flat, and we continued flat the whole game,” Thunder coach Mike Lewis said. “There was a lot of poor ball movement on our part on offense. A lot of selfish play. One pass and shot and people aren’t trying to rebound.”