In the final seconds of the game, the Warriors had a chance to tie the game, but Ja'Davin Keith's last-second 3-pointer fell just short of the basket.
“I think it was good to win a close game,” Woodstock coach Brady Richeson said. “We've had a lot of close ones where we have been on the other end, so it's good to win a close game when not everything went our way. We had to get some stops, so it was good for us.”
Prior to Keith's miss, Woodstock's Tyler Morgan had missed the front end of a one-and-one, but hit the second shot. Before Morgan's foul shots, both Cherokee and Woodstock had their opportunities to take control of the game over the course of the last 15 seconds.
For Morgan, the last foul shot helped him to finish with 10 points, and he was the lone Woodstock player to finish in double figures. But more than Morgan's scoring effort, the Wolverines were able to use their team defensive effort to earn the win.
“We got stops,” Richeson said. “That's what I told the kids at halftime. We're going to win by getting stops. We got stops when we needed to, and that's what won us the game.”
Both Cherokee and Woodstock have had played low-scoring, defensive games this year. Unlike Woodstock, Cherokee has struggled to win many of those close games. However, the Warriors are confident that they will have the chance to find that final shot or two when it comes to region tournament time.
“I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win,” Cherokee coach Roger Kvam said. “We're getting better and that's encouraging. We had a real good shot to beat Wheeler at Wheeler (last Tuesday). If that's the best region and we can play at our best, then we can beat anybody. We can also lose to anybody, too. We know that we have to play real well, not play mistake-free, but limit our turnovers.”
Headed into the region tournament, the Warriors (6-16, 2-9) feel like they have the potential to beat anybody when it matters.
“Our kids know that they can play with anyone in the region,” Kvam said. “They haven't quit working. They practice and play hard. We're getting better, and so I'm encouraged.”
Along with a tough defensive effort, Woodstock was able to pull away with a victory because of its outside shooting. As a team, the Wolverines knocked down six 3-pointers, led by Reid Olson with three.
“We have some good shooters, and we made enough of them (Friday),” Richeson said. “But I don't know. We shoot a lot of 3s, so we will hopefully make at least half of them.”