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Hampshire traveled to Woodstock on Tuesday night and turned a three-way tie atop the Fox Valley Fox standings into a two-way tie.
The Whip-Purs grabbed the upper hand for good late in the second quarter and were never seriously challenged after halftime as they rolled past the Blue Streaks 64-49 in a matchup of teams trying to keep pace with Crystal Lake Central for first place in the division.
Hampshire (16-3, 5-1) had four players score in double figures as it won its fourth game in a row. Senior guard Tyler Crater led the way for the Whips with 19 points.
“We have only eight games left after tonight,” Hampshire coach Bob Barnett said. “I told the seniors, ‘You control your own destiny. The ball is in your court.’ Tonight was a big hurdle.”
Woodstock (13-7, 4-2) dictated play early and had a 22-18 lead following Jordan Turner’s basket with 5:10 left in the second quarter. The points proved to be all the scoring the Blue Streaks could muster in the first half as Hampshire ripped off 12 unanswered points to take a 30-22 lead into the break.
Ryan Cork drained a long-range three-pointer during the run, but the rest of the points came from good ball movement creating open looks. The Whips extended their run to 14-0 when Crater scored the first basket of the third quarter, and their lead never dipped below eight in the second half.
“In the second quarter we knew we had to take the lead and extend the lead,” Crater said. “We were able to do that by not just settling for three-pointers but by moving the ball against their zone.”
Damian Stoneking scored Woodstock’s first 10 points of the game, but foul trouble and a nagging back injury held him in check the rest of the way as he finished with 14. Taylor led the Streaks with 19 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Cork was sharp as usual on the perimeter for Hampshire as he finished with 16 points and four assists. Shane Hernandez added 11 points and nine rebounds and Michael Dumoulin also tallied 11 points.
“We knew that Crater and Cork are awfully good players,” Woodstock coach Alex Baker said. “We talk about challenging shooters, but those are the kind of guys that even if you challenge them, they can make a lot of shots.
“And (Hampshire) had their third and fourth options step up and make some shots. They made themselves very hard to guard tonight.”
The Whip-Purs finished with a decisive 31-20 rebounding advantage. The teams will meet again Feb. 15 when Woodstock visits Hampshire.
HAMPSHIRE 64, WOODSTOCK 49
Hampshire (16-3, 5-1)
Crater 6 5-6 19, Cork 5 3-6 16, Dumoulin 4 3-6 11, Hernandez 4 3-5 11, Bridges 1 2-3 4, Waterworth 0 3-3 3. Totals 20 19-29 64.
Woodstock (13-7, 4-2)
Turner 8 2-3 8, Stoneking 6 2-3 14, Buhrow 2 0-0 6, Benjamin 2 0-0 5, Kohley 1 1-1 3, Sutter 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 7-9 49.
Hampshire 15 15 11 23 -- 64
Woodstock 15 7 9 18 -- 49
Three-point goals -- Hampshire: 5 (Cork 3, Crater 2). Woodstock: 4 (Buhrow 2, Benjamin, Turner). Fouled out -- None.