By RICK HAYES
Winning never gets old in Woodlawn.
The Cardinals wrapped up their sixth straight regional title at Sides Gym on Friday night, cruising to a 69-25 victory over second-seeded Christ Our Rock Lutheran.
“It’s six in a row and it never gets old. Every group that you have is special and these guys have had a great regular season, and to finish it off in this fashion at home is a nice way to finish our home stand,” said Woodlawn coach Shane Witzel after yet another post tournament celebration. “We played well and would like to keep the momentum moving forward.”
Woodlawn (26-3) will play in the Altamont Sectional at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of the Oblong-Dieterich contest that will be contested this evening.
Off to somewhat of a sluggish start for the second straight game, Woodlawn took advantage of a technical foul early in the contest to gain momentum. Leading by a single digit, CORL’sTyler Burmester was rung for the ‘T’ after blocking a Woodlawn shot, and then trash-talking while heading downcourt. Gabe Owens promptly made two free throws and the Cardinals finished the opening quarter on a 8-2 run to take a 13-6 lead.
Owens, who made six 3-pointers in the game, canned two of them in the second period, and the Cardinals could only put together two more field goals, but still led 26-13 at halftime. Owens led all scorers with 24 points.
Crisp passing and back cut layups propelled Woodlawn in the third quarter, essentially putting the game on ice with a 12-4 run to start the quarter. Ty Coleman made a couple of goals early in the quarter and Kris Harlow finished with 10 of his 14 points in the period to carry the Cardinals to a 30-point, 49-19 lead by the quarter’s end.
“They had to switch defenses,” Witzel said of Woodlawn’s third-quarter blitz. “Even early in the game we got into a good offensive flow against their man, then they switched over to a 1-2-2 which is what we prepped the most for, and we get a good job of attacking that. They also tried a box-and-one for awhile. I felt like each time we were able to answer their defensive adjustments with the things we wanted to do offensively. We got key contributions offensively and defensively from each guy in our lineup,” he said.
CORL coach Mike Shaffer said the technical didn’t change the course of the outcome, instead blaming his team’s defense.
“We just needed to step up our defense, and I don’t our defense was there tonight,” he said. “I think playing Woodlawn made our guys nervous. We’re a better ball club that what we showed out here tonight.”
Woodlawn was again near perfection at the charity stripe, canning 11 of 14 chances. The Cardinals shot 45 percent from the field after a parochial 8-of-27 in the opening half. CORL was led by Burmester’s nine points as the Silver Stallions bowed out of the season with a 20-9 record.