SOUTH BELOIT— Issues on both sides of the court led directly to South Beloit’s 54-38 loss to Woodstock Tuesday night.
The Blue Streaks carved up the SoBos’ 1-3-1 zone defense to the tune of 10 three-pointers, and the South Beloit offense was plagued by turnovers in the defeat.
The loss dropped the SoBos to 5-8 overall.
The game started in decent fashion for the SoBos, who trailed 15-11 after the first quarter. However, the Blue Streaks nailed four treys and allowed just seven SoBo points en route to a 30-18 lead at intermission.
“I thought we came out with a lot of good energy,” South Beloit coach Matt Stucky said. “They made some shots in the first quarter, but they were tough shots. After that first quarter, I thought we lost some energy and we didn’t get out enough to their shooters.”
The Blue Streaks eventually built an 18-point lead in the third quarter before a 7-0 South Beloit run cut the advantage down to 11.
The SoBos would close further, getting to within eight in the fourth quarter, but could never seriously challenge Woodstock. Stucky said although his team profiles as a better defense playing zone, he might have to consider switching things up.
“They were a really good team,” Stucky said. “They made some shots and gave us a lot of problems. We just made it too easy for them because we didn’t pressure the ball enough in the zone. When we went to man-man-man defense, we played with a lot more energy and got the lead down in the fourth quarter. We should be really good in a zone. We have some athletic guys and some length, but for whatever reason we just don’t play hard enough in it.”
Senior Eddie Quince said the team’s struggles were mainly due
“It was a decent game, but we should have hustled more,” Quince said. “They got to way more loose balls than we did, and they also just hit shots. It was frustrating, because if we worked harder we could have changed the momentum and maybe won the game.”
While the SoBos did get their share of points in transition, Quince believes the team could benefit from a slower pace at times.
“Part of it is just focus,” Quince said. “It can be a mental game. But we also have to understand when to slow it down and set up the offense. We have to be more patient at times.”
Dillon Hagstrom led the SoBos with 15 points. The senior was the only SoBo with more than six points. Woodstock was led by Michael Gardner’s 21 points.
The SoBos will now get a week-plus break in the schedule before hosting their annual Martin Luther King Tournament. Stucky said the next few weeks will go a long way in determining the fate of his team.
“We’ve been hovering around the .500 mark the entire season,” Stucky said. “This is a challenge stretch with the MLK and then a couple of teams at the top of our conference. It’s kind of a measuring stick for us. We talk about being a team that wants to compete for championships, and now is the time to start turning that corner and pushing against better competition.”