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Voytko's hot hand leads Warriors past GSW

RURAL STREATOR – The number 13 is normally an unlucky number, but on Tuesday night for the Woodland Warriors, it was a lucky number, indeed.

Woodland scored 13 points in both the first and second quarters and went on to defeat Gardner-South Wilmington, 49-27, in the quarterfinals of the Woodland Class 1A Regional at the Warrior Dome in rural Streator.

The 10th-seeded Warriors, 9-19 and winners of their last four in a row, advance to face fourth-seeded Grant Park (15-11) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The Panthers end the season at 11-16.

The Dragons defeated Normal Calvary Christian Academy 69-47 in Tuesday’s first game.
“We’ve picked a great time to play our best basketball of the season,” said WHS coach Connor Kaminke. "In each win we have been playing progressively better. I am really proud with how we are playing but right now, our defense speaks for itself. The defense has been spectacular. That’s why we have been holding teams to the 30s and 40s and the 20s in the last two games.”
WHS junior guard Kyle Voytko (20 points) got the Warriors going as he hit the first of his 5 3s with 5 minutes, 22 seconds left in the opening quarter before GSW cut the least to one at 3-2 after a Chris Bexson hit a 10-footer.
Two Tyler Jenkins free-throws extended the Woodland lead to 5-2 and saw the lead cut again to one again on a rebound basket by Connor Steichen with almost four minutes gone. That would be as close as the Panthers would get as Woodland went on a 9-0 run to close the quarter with a 13-4 lead.
WHS scored seven points – including a Collin Hjerpe 3-point right before the buzzer – in the final seven seconds of the second period as it outscored GSW 13-4 for a 26-8 lead at the half
After scoring five points in the first quarter, Voytko got hot and drained two treys along with a 2-point field goals and two free throws to account for nine of the Warriors' 13 points. He ended the first half with 14 points and Woodland an 18-point lead.
“Woodland shot it well,” GSW coach Chris Gibson said. “I don’t think we defended with as much intensity as we could have. I thought their (Woodand’s) defense was much better than their offense. They made things really difficult for us.”
The Panthers outscored the Warriors 9-8 in the third quarter and with eight minutes left in the game, Woodland led 34-17. Voytko hit his final two 3-point baskets in the third quarter to score six of Woodland’s points in the quarter.
WHS got back into double figures in the final quarter as they outscored GSW 15-10. Chandler Hillenbrenner (10 points) scored six points in the quarter with one old fashioned three-point basket and another field goal and free throw.
‘I thought for the most part, Kyle shot the ball fantastic,” Kaminke said. “It might not have shown in the scorebook but, I thought everyone played a big part in this game. We knew with Nate Carby out with a thumb injury, we knew individually and as a team we would have to step up and the guys did that tonight.”
Kaminke expects Carby to be out again tonight when the Warriors face Grant Park for a place in Friday’s regional title game. Nathan Wozniak led the Panthers in scoring with eight points.
At The Warrior Dome, rural Streator
Streator Woodland 49, Gardner-South Wilmington 27
– Carby 0 0-0 0, Hjerpe 2 1-2 6, Voytko 7 1-4 20, Jenkins 3 0-0 6, Hillenbrenner  3 4-5 10, Kress 0 0-0 0, Ewing 1 0-0 2, Meredith 1 0-0 2, Bundy 1 0-0 3, Derossett 0-0 0-0 0, Redd 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 6-11 49.
GSW (27) – Ruiz 0-0 0-0, Chaparro 0 0-0 0, Price 0 0-0 0, Wozniak 3 2-2 6, Morales 0 0-0 0, Landry 1 0-0 3, Lenzie 1 0-0 3, Bexson 2 0-0 5, Wise 1 0-0 2, Ashley Jr.0 2-2 2, Sims 0 0-4 0, Steichen 2 0-0 4, Hill 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 4-8 27
Woodland (9-19)   13  13  8  15 – 49
GSW (11-15)  4  4  9  10 – 27

3-point goals – Woodland 7 (Voytko 5, Bundy 1, Hjerpe 1), GSW – 3 (Brexson 1, Landry 1, Lenzie 1); Turnovers – Woodland 8, GSW 13; Total fouls (none fouled out) – Woodland 12, GSW 12.

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