Tonawanda News — If the Western New York basketball community didn’t know about North Tonawanda sophomore Chris Woodard before Wednesday night, it does now.
Woodard posted another double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing an eye-popping 18 rebounds, while leading all players with five steals. His performance helped lift NT over Lancaster, 66-51, in the AA pre-quarterfinal round of sectional playoffs.
Lumberjacks coach Ryan Mountain had trouble recalling a more dominant playoff performance by an NT basketball player.
“Right now Woodard is playing more like a freshman in college than a sophomore in high school,” he said. “His game tonight was just unbelievable. I’m sure that’s one of the best games ever played in sectionals in North Tonawanda history. I only go back five years but I’ll match that game against any of the greats.”
The Jacks (11-8) led for the majority of the game after a slow start in the first quarter, but the Redskins made a few runs to keep things interesting.
Leading by four points, 25-21, at the break, NT came storming out in the second half led by point guard Nehemiah Stone. The sophomore’s energy generated a quick 9-0 NT run that consisted of a Stone 3-pointer and transition layup in traffic, followed by a pair of assists to teammates Michael Awad and Woodard to give the Jacks a double-digit lead.
Stone finished with 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and senior Ian Gilhousen, who finished with five points, applauded the play of the Jacks’ sophomore tandem — Stone and Woodard.
“They are definitely ahead of where they’re supposed to be,” he said. “Not too many sophomores that play basketball are where they are. They have a great coach and they’re doing amazing. The sky is the limit for them and they’re doing their part to make this team good.”