Antioch goes to work for win No. 1

It worked in football for Antioch. It should work in basketball for the Sequoits.

For sure, it worked Wednesday night.

It's all about defense, and thanks to an effort that produced 14 steals, Antioch beat Woodstock North 47-39 to finish up the 17th annual Hoops for Healing Thanksgiving tournament at Woodstock.

It was the first win of the season for the Sequoits (1-2), whose roster includes Branden Gallimore, Mike Kawell, Andrew Hare, Logan Weber, John Petty, Ben Gutke and Jaden DeVaughn. Those seven players helped a stingy football team post an undefeated regular season and advance to the second round of the state playoffs this fall.

"Being on the football team definitely helps the defensive mentality," said Weber, who had 7 points, 7 steals and 4 rebounds. He's a 6-foot guard who started at linebacker for the football team. "It helps us be more aggressive and more relentless out there and get more steals."

Antioch's man-to-man defense helped force 20 turnovers. The Sequoits limited the Thunder to 3 points in the second quarter to take a 22-19 advantage into halftime. Antioch limited Woodstock North to 6-of-21 shooting in the second half.

"We talked in the locker room about just going after it defensively because even if we don't have a good offensive night, we can at least still play hard on defense," said Antioch forward Reece Eldridge, who scored a game-high 15 points. "

Without a go-to offensive player, at least early on, aggressive play on the defensive end is how the Sequoits plan to play all season.

"It's definitely going to be a scrappy type of game," Weber said. "It's going to be a grind-it-out game every game, and that's how we're going to win."

Gallimore's steal and pass to Eldridge, who finished the layup, had Antioch up 30-21 midway through the third. Eldridge later scored again off a Hare steal and pass, but Vic Ortiz hit a long 3-pointer on the run to beat the buzzer and get Woodstock North within 33-30 entering the fourth.

Eldridge hit two more shots in the final quarter, while Hare sank 2 free throws and converted a fastbreak layup.

Hare finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals.

"He's just a madman," Antioch coach Jim White said of the 6-foot junior. "He moves."

Peter Boeh provided a lift coming off the bench for the Sequoits, scoring 7 points thanks a 3-pointer and 4-of-4 shooting from the stripe. Gallimore hustled for 9 rebounds and scored 4 points.

"Offensively, we got a lot of tendencies we don't know yet," White said. "People are feeling each other out. We got a lot of juniors (nine) that are getting their first exposure. Other than (Weber and Eldridge), there's not a lot of experience out there right now."

The 6-foot-5, 165-pound Eldridge, who played most of last season at less-than-full strength due to an ankle injury, hit 7 of 13 shot (1 of 2 from the foul line), and his length was a factor defensively in the post and on the perimeter.

"I like to play all over," Eldridge said. "Of course I want to score, but I like to contribute in all areas."

Ryan Medina and Ryan Schaffter (three 3-pointers) led Woodstock North with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

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