For Woodridge boys basketball, the wins just keep coming -- and there is no end to the streak in sight.
With big wins over Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rivals Cloverleaf (56-30) and Field (63-41), the Woodridge boys basketball team carried a 17-0 overall record and 11-0 Metro Division mark into a home game against Coventry Feb. 3. Results was not available at press time.
In the win over Field Jan. 31, visiting Woodridge looked nothing like an unbeaten team in the first half. The Falcons put up quite a fight, leading 14-13 after one quarter and 30-23 at halftime.
"We played a really poor first half," said Bulldogs head coach Ric Blevins. "We played very tentative, we played very flat-footed, we didn't come out with a lot of energy. When Field wasn't knocking down 3-pointers, we were giving up backdoor layups like they were going out of style. We definitely had to get back to what we do well, which is being disciplined and fundamental."
That is exactly what Woodridge did, especially defensively.
"Once we did that, we were able to get control of the game by the end of the third quarter. We didn't change what we were doing, we just started doing those things right," said Blevins, whose team was in the lead 46-36 entering the fourth quarter.
Mason Lydic was a huge reason the Bulldogs came alive in the second half. The junior guard scored 30 points, including five 3-pointers, on the night, but about 20 of his points came in the third and fourth quarters.
"Our kids say it all the time: 'Big players step up in big situations.' And with our backs against the wall at halftime, Mason came out and played a fantastic second half," Blevins said.
Senior forward Marlon King scored 12 points and had a team-leading 7 rebounds.
"Marlon did a great job," said the coach. "He was very active on the glass. He was all around the basketball all night long. Efficiency-wise, he's taken very few shots to get the points he's getting."
Senior guard Preston Clark scored 7 points and sophomore point guard D.J. Snyder had 6 points.
Senior center Aaron Jones scored 2 points but had nine blocked shots, most of them in the second half.
In the win over visiting Cloverleaf Jan. 27, Woodridge was in command from the very start. The Bulldogs led 16-4 after the first quarter, 29-12 at the half and 45-22 after three quarters.
"The kids played pretty well. We came out of the gates fast," said Blevins. "We got Cloverleaf back on its heels and played a pretty good all-around basketball game. Starting at the midpoint of the third quarter, we were able to rest our starters and get some of our younger guys and guys who don't get a lot of playing time some action."
Lydic scored 12 points, including three 3-pointers, and had 8 rebounds.
"Mason is around the basket a lot, so when we need help rebounding he's usually the first guy in line," Blevins said. "As athletic as he is, when he wants a rebound he can rebound."
King also scored 12 points. Clark had 6 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Jones and Snyder each chipped in with 5 points.
Sophomore post player Elijah Arnett scored 4 points and had a team-high 9 rebounds.
As talk of a possible undefeated regular season spreads at school and at their homes, Blevins said his players are taking it in stride.
"Remember, they're teenage kids, so levelheadedness doesn't always collide with them," he said. "This is new to all of us, but I've got experienced basketball players. We just need to embrace it, take it one day at a time and get ready for the next game. I don't think anybody thought we'd be in this position at this point, but here's where we are. We just want to keep getting better every day.
"There's no sense in trying to hide from it. We're trying to do something that's difficult to do, so we try to keep it as realistic as possible. You can only worry about the game in front of you. If we come out and play well, I like our chances."
Woodridge is scheduled to play at non-conference opponent Aurora Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play at division rival Norton Feb. 10, also at 7:30 p.m.