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Woodstock's Keeondae Benjamin flies in for a shot against Crystal Lake Central. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Woodstock fans stormed the court Friday in Crystal Lake, and some longtime fans are calling the Blue Streaks win over Crystal Lake Central “the greatest game they’ve ever seen.”
Senior Jordan Turner was the hero. His jumper with four seconds to play gave Woodstock a 54-53 win over the Tigers.
“[Coach Al Baker] asked me if I wanted a timeout but I said no, just let me run one-four,” Turner said. “I knew when I was coming off the pick that I was going to shoot it.”
Turner’s shot was strikingly similar to Derrick Rose’s game-winner in 2006 against Peoria Richwoods that gave Simeon the state championship.
“I’ve never seen that play,” Turner said. “But that’s cool to hear.”
Turner drained the shot and then sealed the win by stealing the ball from Crystal Lake Central’s Corban Murphy at half court.
“As soon as Corban got the ball I knew he wasn’t going to give it up,” Turner said. “I was able to pick his pocket.”
Crystal Lake Central lost to Carmel to open the season, but had ripped off 14 consecutive wins heading into Friday’s game. Woodstock was also hot, winning 12 of 13.
“This was pretty important,” Turner said. “We had a huge crowd travel here to support us and didn’t want to let them down.”
Turner finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Brad Kaufman led the way for Woodstock (13-4, 2-0 Fox Valley Fox) with 13 and 6-7 junior Damian Stoneking added eight points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Stoneking and Andy Buhrow each blocked shots on Crystal Lake Central’s second-to-last possession, which set the stage for Turner’s heroics.
“Those definitely got the crowd going and got us some momentum,” Stoneking said. “Crystal Lake Central is a great team, this is a really big step for us.”
Murphy led the Tigers (14-2, 1-1) with 21 points. Kyle Fleck added 11 points and eight rebounds. DJ Thomas and Cavanagh Murphy each scored 10. Crystal Lake Central was without two starters, guard Brad Knoeppel and 6-6 David Panicko, who were both out with the flu.
The Blue Streaks led by seven after three quarters, but the Tigers got back into the game with a 15-3 run, capped by Fleck’s basket with 3:49 to play. That ended up being their last basket of the game.
“Defense has been big for us all season,” Baker said. “We’re fortunate to have a little bit of size in the middle this season. I was really pleased with the guards too. They worked hard.”