The Woodstock High School varsity boys basketball team secured a 52-47 win over crosstown rival Woodstock North High School to cap the Blue Streaks’ senior night in celebration Feb 17.
WHS seniors Mikey Gardner, Dylan Grisolia, Drew Kohley, Justin Leith, Alex Mueckenhoff, Matt Shook and Josh Turner finished their last regular season home game at Woodstock’s Shipley Gym.
“We talked before the game about past, present and future,” said Streaks head coach Alex Baker. “We had the feeder kids here before the game. We had senior night to celebrate our seniors, and then we had the 30th anniversary of the great Blue Streak teams of the mid-80s.
“We talked about looking behind, looking ahead, but also staying in the moment and I thought they did a good job of that.”
From the opening tip-off, during which WNHS deferred the ball to an injured Mueckenhoff, to matching WHS’ every move — leading to a tie game after both the second and third quarters — the game was the battle most, including Shook, expected it to be.
“It’s always going to be tough,” said Shook. “Everybody contributed. I’m glad we pulled through.”
The Streaks pulled ahead in the fourth quarter with four 3-point baskets, one from Gardner (nine points total) and three from sophomore Evan Bridges (20 points).
“Being senior night, we knew we were going to come out with high intensity and play for our seniors,” said Bridges.
“If you can rebound and you can play defense, then you’ll still be hanging around once those shots start falling, and we were,” said Baker.
Leith scored seven while Shook and Turner added six each. Junior Carl Anderson added two points.
The Thunder were led by junior Collin Mergl’s 22-point performance. Seniors Vic Ortiz, Zach Ramirez and Ryan Medina scored five, eight and six points, respectively.
“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” said WNHS head coach Steve Ryan. “We had a couple of possessions where we didn’t get the things that we wanted to have, and defensively we gave them some wide open shots; that wasn’t supposed to happen.”
The Streaks play their final regular-season game at Marengo at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. The Thunder were scheduled to host their senior night against Johnsburg at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, before a final regular-season game at Burlington Central Feb. 24.
Both teams look forward to playing one another in the opening round of the IHSA Class 3A Regional Monday, Feb. 27.