WOODSTOCK – Woodstock’s defensive focus was centered around slowing down Prairie Ridge’s Michael Bradshaw and Steven Ticknor.
Blue Streaks coach Alex Baker offered a mathematical equation on the board before the game: 5 (Bradshaw’s number) plus 23 (Ticknor’s) equals less than 20 (points).
The Streaks pulled that off, along with much more. By the end of the third quarter, Bradshaw and Ticknor had combined for nine points, Woodstock had a 26-point lead and the Wolves had more turnovers (20) than points (19).
Woodstock’s 2-3 zone defense gave Prairie Ridge fits as the Streaks rolled to a 57-37 victory Thursday in a Fox Valley Conference crossover boys basketball game at James M. Shipley Memorial Gymnasium.
“We had our hands on every pass,” Streaks guard Andy Burhrow said. “We know we have to be quick and move as fast as we can [in the zone]. This is probably the best game we’ve had all season.”
Woodstock (10-4) jumped ahead, 12-2, early and forced nine turnovers in the first quarter. The Wolves (3-10) trailed, 27-19, early in the third quarter, but the Streaks scored the last 18 points of that quarter for a 45-19 lead.
“It’s everybody knowing their rotation and zones and where to be,” said Woodstock guard Brad Kaufmann, who hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points. “We really focused on stopping Bradshaw and Ticknor, they are their shooters. We worked on that in practice today, on not letting them shoot the ball.”
Ticknor led Prairie Ridge with 13 points, although six of those came in the fourth quarter. Bradshaw scored five points.
Guard Jordan Turner scored 16 points to lead the Streaks. Damian Stoneking scored nine points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots.
“We did a good job with our defensive rotations,” Baker said. “We’ve been running the zone for a while and they understand their responsibilities and do it well. We did a good job focusing on stopping Bradshaw and Ticknor.”
Prairie Ridge had 24 turnovers for the game and shot 29.2 percent from the field.
“We didn’t play very well, but that was mostly because of what [Woodstock] was doing,” Wolves coach Corky Card said. “They were doing a good job of putting the heat on and we didn’t handle it very well. Then, they got offense out of that. They were ready to play and took it to us.”