WOODSTOCK – Anytime Woodstock and Woodstock North get together in boys basketball, it's bound to be a close game in front of a loud group of fans.
So it was again Wednesday night at Woodstock's James M. Shipley Memorial Gymnasium as the host Blue Streaks and Thunder battled for all 32 minutes before North pulled out a 61-58 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division win.
The Thunder (6-15 overall, 2-5 FVC Fox) rallied from an eight-point first-half deficit to take a 35-34 lead into the final eight minutes. After North took a seven-point lead with 57.9 seconds left, Woodstock (8-13, 3-4) rallied to pull within one in the final 15 seconds on a 3-pointer by Mike Chonos. But after Nick Herscha made two free throws, the North lead was 61-58.
After two missed free throws by the Thunder with three seconds left, the Streaks had one final chance, but Damian Stoneking’s long shot fell way short.
The teams combined for 50 of their 119 points in the fourth quarter.
Josh Jandron had 16 points to lead North on the night and said that it was a great win considering that Woodstock had won at North earlier this season.
“It was sorely needed coming off the loss the last time we played them,” Jandron said. “We came into this game all fired up and just came out as a team winning.”
Jandron added that the energy in the gym was something special.
“Oh my, there were sometimes I couldn’t communicate with my players,” Jandron said. “It’s a positive energy most of the time, and I’m glad I can be part of this.”
Herscha scored 12 points, Leonel Ortiz had 11 and Christopher Niese added 10 off the bench. North coach Steve Ryan said it was a positive to have such balanced scoring.
“When these kids can share the basketball and we look up in transition or we look at the offense to know where guys are going to be, we do well,” Ryan said. “At times when we get tunnel vision and are only looking for Josh (Jandron) or only looking for Nick (Herscha), we don’t do very well. Other guys have to step up and they did tonight and scored.”
Zach Callum scored 18 points to lead Woodstock, Chonos scored 13 and Alex Ferguson put in 12. Woodstock coach Alex Baker thought his team scored enough to win the game but gave a lot of credit to the Thunder.
“Fifty-eight points should be enough to win a varsity basketball game,” Baker said. “[North] got a lot of different points from different places. They did a good job.”