WOODSTOCK – Johnsburg’s boys basketball team went a little nostalgic at halftime and paid tribute to former coach Ed Sennett, who died Tuesday at age 76.
Sennett, an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Famer who took the Skyhawks to the 2003 Class AA State Tournament, developed sepsis after he had contracted COVID-19.
Johnsburg assistant coach Eric Toussaint suggested the Skyhawks try a set that Sennett used with 2006 Northwest Herald Player of the Year Chad Hettermann.
“At halftime, Eric said, ‘Let’s go Ed Sennett style and run Home Boy Offense like he did with Chad Hettermann,’ " said Skyhawks coach Mike Toussaint, Eric’s older brother. “We isolated Dylan (Schmidt) on the wing and had (Jacob) Welch come out and set ball screens for him. It kind of got him going. Dylan just found openings, he was finding lanes and getting guys the ball.”
Schmidt scored nine of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter and Johnsburg widened its four-point halftime lead to 19 on the way to an 84-70 win over Woodstock in their Kishwaukee River Conference game at James M. Shipley Memorial Gymnasium.
Johnsburg (7-9, 1-1 KRC) bounced back from a loss to Richmond-Burton on Friday to pull even in conference games. The 84 points was the Skyhawks’ season-high.
“I give Ed the credit,” Mike Toussaint said. “We ran it and we called it Home Boy Offense like he called it.”
Sennett lived with his wife Lynn in Homer Glen and had experienced poor health since problems after he received a heart transplant in 2015.
“We had a tough loss against Richmond, so coming out here I knew I had to have a good game and bounce back,” said Schmidt, who hit 10 of 18 shots, grabbed eight rebounds and had seven assists. “I was really mad about that last game. I had a chip on my shoulder and came out hot.
“I feel like I should be the leader, keep everybody together. I should be the primary scorer on most nights.”
Woodstock (6-8, 0-2) had cut Johnsburg’s lead to 38-34 at halftime with strong balanced scoring. The Blue Streaks could not keep pace in the third quarter.
“I was happy with the way the guys competed for the most part,” Streaks coach Al Baker said. “The third quarter was the difference. We finished strong in the second quarter and came out in the third and didn’t finish as well as we needed to, didn’t shoot as well as we needed to and Johnsburg did both of those things. That was the difference.”
Ben Person came off the bench with a career-high 18 points, Joe Wolff added 15 and Ian Boal hit four 3-pointers to score 14.
“We play a quick game, so keeping up the pace makes us play fluid and hit some shots,” Boal said. “Dylan’s a great leader. He’s a great athlete, and he knows the game very well. He gets to the rack very well and hits shots when we need them.”
Person was the beneficiary of several Schmidt assists as he picked up most of his baskets in the paint.
“I was just feeling it tonight,” Person said. “I was getting to spots and they were hitting me, and I was just making them. It felt great. It felt awesome.”
Woodstock was able to cut back into Johnsburg’s lead in the fourth, pulling as close as nine points late in the game.
Guard Javier Garay-Vasquez led the Streaks with 20 points and three 3s. Forward Caden Ogle scored 19 points and hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds.
“Caden Ogle is a kid who, as a senior, I’m so proud of him,” Baker said. “He goes out and competes his rear end off all the time.”
Johnsburg 84, Woodstock 70
Metze 2 0-0 6, Schmidt 10 1-2 23, Boal 5 0-0 14, Conroy 1 1-2 3, Welch 2 1-2 5, Wolff 6 1-2 15, Person 9 0-0 18, Hull 0 0-0 0, Thill 0 0-0 0, Groves 0 0-0 0. Totals: 35 4-8 84.
Garay-Vasquez 8 1-2 20, Lyons 3 2-2 8, Cullum 3 5-6 12, Ogle 8 2-4 19, Sivore 1 0-0 3, Novelle 1 0-0 3, Haak 0 0-0 0, Murray 1 1-2 4, Perkins 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 11-16 70.
Johnsburg 24 14 24 22 – 84
Woodstock 19 15 9 27 – 70
3-point goals: Johnsburg 10 (Boal 4, Schmidt 2, Wolff 2, Metze 2), Woodstock 7 (Garay-Vasquez 3, Ogle, Novelle, Murray, Sivore). Total fouls: Johnsburg 13, Woodstock 8.