“All 12” is Woodstock North varsity boys basketball team chant – signifying camaraderie of all 12 players on and off the court.
“This is a great group of hard working kids, and their time and effort is starting to show,” said head coach Steve Ryan.
On Dec. 7, the Thunder dozen lost a nail-biter 53-49 to the Genoa-Kingston Cogs on home court. But Ryan said the first-half offensive and defensive play was the team’s best so far this season.
“We need to learn how to close out games down the stretch. When we have a lead, we need to do things to protect it,” Ryan said.
Thunder 6-foot-5-inch junior guard Collin Mergl led with five 3-pointers.
“Mergl is the type of player who has to know he can take over a game when he wants due to his strength and athleticism,” Ryan said.
The second half was a different tale. North did not get to the basket or hit shots outside. “Up by 12 at halftime and up by four at the start of the fourth quarter, we need to show more leadership on the floor when it comes to crunch time in a game. Our shot selection needs to improve,” said Ryan.
Ryan is looking to sophomore point guard Ryan Shaffter, who he said “handles the ball well, knows where to be and how to get players the ball.”
The Thunder lost on the road Dec. 9 in a nonconference game against Harvest Christian Academy Lions 72-65. North is 1-5 overall.
WNHS Girls Team Goes 2-0 on Home Court
Thunder girls basketball had a good week on their home court, defeating the Harvard Hornets 45-31 Dec. 6 and the Richmond-Burton Rockets 50-44 Dec. 9.
The Thunder produced a strong start against Harvard. “The starters gave early opportunity for all players to experience minutes of play in that game,” said head coach Mike Lewis. “It was enjoyable to see everyone play, and everyone on the team did some good things.”
Lewis credited sophomore guard Taylor Prerost for containing Harvard’s point guard. “Harvard’s point guard was fast, and Taylor did a great job containing her and slowing her down,” Lewis said.
In the win over the Richmond-Burton Rockets, the Thunder girls attacked the rim and put up shots early on. “We opened up the outside and put them in foul trouble which gave us different opportunities,” Lewis said.
Senior Maddie Busch, top shooter for North against Richmond-Burton, tallied 18 points.
The Thunder are 4-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play. Next up is a crosstown game Dec. 13.
“This week’s crosstown game at Woodstock High School is an important game for our girls.” Lewis said. “I hope we come out ready to play and not get caught up in the loud atmosphere. It may take us a minute or two to settle in, but, if we do the best we can and play our game, it should be a good one.”