Woodlawn "clamps down" on CORL
Cardinals force 18-turnovers, improve to 4-3 overall with 60-29 win

It took the Woodlawn Cardinals a little bit longer than they wanted to shake loose from their conference foe on Tuesday night at home.

Christ Our Rock Lutheran played a pretty good first half and trailed the hosts just 26-21 at halftime.

But the second half started poorly for the visitors and things steadily got worse.

Six possessions into the third quarter by Coach Steve Britt's Stallions resulted in three missed shots and three turnovers.

Woodlawn made them pay with points on each, as the Cardinals used a 10-2 run to open the second half and never let up until the final minutes.

Coach Brian Gamber saw his club improve to 2-0 in the Midland Trail Conference and 4-3 overall with a 60-29 victory.

The Cardinals blanketed CORL defensively in the final 16 minutes, allowing just eight second half points and forcing 18-turnovers in the contest.

A program that has always stressed fundamentals, Woodlawn were fundamentally sound in all phases in the triumph.

Woodlawn took care of the ball, with just four turnovers while holding a 30-23 rebounding edge.

The Cardinals forced Christ Our Rock Lutheran into an 8-of-31 shooting performance, which isn't going to win many games.

The Stallions were just 2-of-13 in the second half.

In the meantime, Woodlawn hit 25-of-54 from the floor, 5-of-15 from the arc.

“We preach and stress fundamentals to the kids, it starts at a young age. Our first four games, turnovers were an issue for us but we were playing really good teams at a high level. They force you to really work on things,” said Coach Gamber. “I felt like the last three games we have had success because we haven't turned it over.”

Sophomore Blake McKay netted 15-points for Woodlawn to lead the way while junior Jackson Bennett added 12.

Sophomore Race Rynski tossed home 10 in the victory.

For CORL, no player reached double-figures as Jordan Bent, a 6-foot-5 senior, was tough to handle in the early going for Woodlawn.

Bent hit a pair of first half 3-pointers but he finished with just eight-points overall.

Freshman guard Tymar Offutt, a 5-foot-6 point guard, flashed signs of things to come for this program with six-points.

Freshman Sam Britt added five points in the defeat.

Those are the important figures in the loss for the Stallions, who fell to 3-6 overall, 1-2 in the MTC.

The first half had CORL hanging with the Cardinals.

After surrendering an early 6-0 lead on a pair of baskets by Woodlawn's Blake Fewkes and score by McKay, the Stallions rallied to even the score at 8-8 with Bent nailing his first 3-pointer and Britt hitting from the same spot on the floor from the left wing.

Woodlawn closed the frame with a cut to the basket by Rynski and a McKay 3-pointer that beat the horn for a 13-8 advantage.

Bennett rebounded his own missed shot for a bucket which was followed by a Rynski score and a 3-pointer from sophomore Chase Hollenkamp to force Coach Britt to use a timeout at 20-10 Woodlawn with 5:52 left in the second quarter.

The Stallions made one more run at the Cardinals, a 11-4 move to close the gap to just 24-21.

Bent added his second 3-pointer and senior Tristen Britt added a rebound basket.

CORL netted 6-of-8 free throws in the stretch and things were looking good for the visitors.

However a score on a steal and fast break by McKay closed the half with Woodlawn up five.

The rest of the game was a nightmare for Christ Our Rock Lutheran as the Cardinals forced turnovers and missed shots.

Two big scoring pushes by the hosts turned a close game into a rout.

The first one, a 10-1 run, happened in the opening moments of the third quarter.

McKay, Rynski and Bennett all scored in less than a minute and a half.

McKay's basket was a 3-pointer from the right wing while Rynski made a steal and went the distance for a lay in.

Bennett did the same thing as Rynski just seconds later for a 33-21 lead.

Another transition score by McKay and a free throw by Bennett gave Woodlawn a 14-point lead.

The second run from the Cardinals sealed the deal.

Hollenkamp, Bennett and McKay all scored to close out the quarter.

A drive by Hollenkamp, and inbounds score on a set play by Bennett and a fast break by McKay off of a steal by sophomore Alec Fewkes put the Cardinals up 43-24.

After senior Nicholas Easley hit a 3-pointer for CORL, Bennett closed the quarter by taking an assist from McKay on a lob pass in the lane for a 45-27 lead heading to the final quarter.

“Woodlawn made some adjustments at halftime and we didn't adjust like we should have in the second half,” said Coach Britt. “What we did in the first half that worked we didn't do in the second half. It was bad news from that point on.”

Woodlawn outscored CORL 15-2 in the final eight minutes to close out the victory.

Coach Gamber's club played the game without two of their players, freshman twins Hunter and Hayden England, who are both under the weather with the flu.

“We played a great second half, especially defensively. I thought the effort was there,” said Coach Gamber. “A lot of guys stepped up tonight. We had some different groups in there so we couldn't run some of our normal sets but that is good because in the long run that helps you. It helps kids learn how to make plays at the varsity level.”

The Cardinals will travel for their next two regular season games, as they will play long time rival Waltonville in a MTC game on Friday night and a trip to conference rival Webber Township on Tuesday, December 19th.

The Cardinals are the top-seed at the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament starting December 26th.

The Stallions next action will be at the Dieterich Holiday Tournament starting the same week as Sesser-Valier.

“If you don't have the fundamentals and you don't play hard, anybody can beat you. But if you play hard and focus on taking care of the basketball, blocking out and diving on the floor, all of those basics, then you are going to give yourselves a chance to win games,” said Coach Gamber. “I'm very proud of the effort. Eight total points in the second half is good because they (CORL) have some guys who can score the basketball.”

Christ Our Rock Lutheran
Christ Our Rock Lutheran (29) – Offutt 1 0 4-6 6, T. Britt 1 0 2-4 4, Easley 0 1 0-0 3, Johnston 1 0 0-0 2, Benton 0 2 2-4 8, Wuebbels 0 0 0-0 0, Owens 0 0 0-0 0, S. Britt 1 1 0-0 5, Ellis 0 0 0-0 0, Childress 0 0 0-0 0, Ramsour 0 0 1-2 1, Koen 0 0 0-0 0, Young 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-4, 3FG-4, FT-9-16, PF-14.

Woodlawn (60) – McKay 4 2 1-4 15, Rynski 5 0 0-0 10, Bennett 5 0 2-4 12, Hollenkamp 1 1 0-0 5, B. Fewkes 4 0 0-0 8, A. Fewkes 1 0 0-0 2, Maharrey 0 0 2-2 2, Tiemann 0 2 0-0 6, Wenzel 0 0 0-0 0, Kiesow 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-20, 3FG-5, FT-5-10, PF-16.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.