RICHMOND – Every time it appeared Woodstock North had Woodstock on the verge of being knocked out of the playoffs, the Blue Streaks delivered.
Woodstock junior forward Selena Juarez provided the much-needed consistency while senior forward Cody Brand made two baskets in 37 seconds to force double overtime in Tuesday's quarterfinal. The Blue Streaks' free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter and two overtimes (14 for 23) helped propel them to a 54-50 win.
Fifth-seeded Woodstock (7-18) faces top-seeded Marian Central at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Blue Streaks were led by Juarez's game-high 19 points, including a 7 of 8 performance at the free-throw line, and Brand's 16 points, 11 of which came after the third quarter.
"Tonight's game was indicative of what her whole season has been about," Woodstock coach Marty Hammond said of Juarez. "She is such a tremendous athlete with that attitude of never give up, never die, whatever it takes. ... She puts us in positions to have success. She deserves everything she got tonight."
Woodstock North (9-20) needed a Haley Ahr jumper with 22 seconds left in the fourth to tie the game at 37 and force overtime. The Thunder went ahead by four points with 51 seconds remaining, but couldn't stop Brand in the paint.
"I felt like free throws were key in this game," Juarez said. "A lot of us were making them at the end, which helped us win. Those easy baskets helped push us into the lead."
In double overtime, the Thunder took the lead four times but each time the Blue Streaks responded on the ensuing possession to tie the game. Woodstock's Brecken Overly scored three points in the final 38 seconds to secure the win. Ahr led the Thunder with 14 points and Ashley Jones scored 11 points.
"We've had a problem all season with getting away from what works," Thunder coach Mike Lewis said. "We get in our heads that the things that work are too boring, let's try something else. No matter how much I yell, they don't want to listen."