Hampshire's boys basketball team certainly didn't play its best game of the season, but the Whip-Purs found a way to win.
Shane Hernandez scored 24 points as Hampshire held on to beat Woodstock North, 65-62, Friday night in Woodstock.
Tyler Crater added 16 for Hampshire in Fox Valley Conference Fox Division action in Woodstock. The Whips swept 2 games in Woodstock this week after beating Woodstock Tuesday night.
Although Hernandez was able to score at will inside almost all night, the Whips (17-3, 6-1) could never shake the Thunder. Woodstock North stayed in the game with tenacious defense and uncanny 3-point shooting. Although the Thunder was a modest 8-for-21 from long range, North hit some big shots when necessary. And it hit them from a variety of angles and a variety of shooting postures.
Steven Whiting nailed 4 bombs and led the Thunder with 18 points.
Still, the Whips felt like they made this one harder than they had to.
"Coming into tonight we weren't prepared," said Hernandez. "Maybe we just had big heads and we thought we could roll over them. But they came out to play."
Hampshire coach Bob Barnett wouldn't disagree.
"We've got some work to do," he said. "Even before the game I didn't think we were ready. We were messing around in the locker room, talking about different things than the game."
North tied the game at 44 on a steal and layup by Whiting late in the third quarter. Hernandez put Hampshire back on top with a layup and when Crater opened the fourth period with a 3-pointer, the Whips had a 5-point lead. They led by between 2 and 6 the rest of the way.
Brendan Waterworth added 9 points for Hampshire, while Matthew Bridges had 8 off the bench. Hernandez also grabbed 10 rebounds. Ryan Cork never found his shot, but logged 8 assists, mostly feeding Hernandez in the post.
Hampshire fell behind early, but an 11-0 run gave the Whips what turned out to be their biggest lead of the game at 23-16. The Thunder came right back with an 11-2 burst of its own to regain the advantage.