Hampshire advances to finals at Marengo

 
By Eric Bridges
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/28/2018 10:41 PM
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Heading into the 2018 basketball season, Hampshire junior Collin Woods made it a goal to improve his defense and his shooting, and judging by Friday night's performance, he's definitely meeting his goals.

The Whip-Purs defeated Marengo 67-51 in the semifinal of the E.C. Nichols tournament to advance to the championship game Saturday night against defending tournament champion Crystal Lake Central.

Woods scored 13 points using a combination of 3-pointers and inside post ups, but it was his two powerful dunks that energized the Hampshire fans and help lead the Whip-Purs on a second-quarter run.

"Last year I was mostly an inside player, but coming into this year I just wanted to extend my game into the 3-point range, and be a little more active defensively too," Woods said. "I'm just trying to mold my game all-around. It (the dunk) gets everyone going and the momentum really swings our way."

Hampshire (8-4) led 18-11 after the first quarter, but Marengo (6-8) pulled to within 18-14 on Nick Wascher's 3-pointer to start the second quarter. The Indians would then be outscored 20-1 before the buzzer sounded for the end of the half.

After J.D. Shaw's layup, senior Kyle Johnson added a layup and a 3, and Justin Anderson then nailed two 3s of his own.

Woods added his first dunk as the half came to an end.

Jeremy Rosa Jr. tallied the first bucket for the Whip-Purs to start the second half, and then Woods stole a pass and took off for his second dunk of the night. Hampshire would end up making the score 45-17 before Marengo would score again.

Hampshire coach Ben Whitehouse wants his team to play fast and up-tempo, and he noticed early on in the game that his team wasn't playing as fast as he liked.

"They (Marengo) came out in a 3-2 zone, so I knew we had to get stops and really hit the boards," Whitehouse said. "They hit two tough shots right off the bat and then we had two good looks and missed, so it was just a matter of getting our stops to allow us to get going and then we took off from there.

"Our expectation is to go out and compete and try to get better. We try to focus on the process as opposed to the result, because the results will take care of themselves."

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