WILMINGTON — As the Streator boys came to the bench down six points to host Wilmington after the opening quarter of Tuesday night's Illinois Central Eight Conference contest, Bulldogs coach Beau Doty — through his facial expression, volume of speech and clipboard bouncing off the floor during the break before the second — was clearly not at all happy with how his team was playing.

The tongue-lashing seemed to spark the visitors, as they regrouped to lead by a point at halftime, then used strong starts in each of the final two quarters to earn a 66-56 victory to push their overall record to 4-2 and league mark to 2-0.

Streator sophomore forward Jack Haynes netted a game-best 20 points to go along with a team-high 13 rebounds. Senior guard Christian Bedecker came off the bench to score 15 points — including a trio of 3-pointers — and snare eight rebounds, while Mason Benning posted 10 points, four assists and three steals. Jack Starkey registered eight boards and a game-high five assists.

The Wildcats (2-3, 0-2) were paced by 6-5 junior Ben Kreitz's 16 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks, with Trey Shaw and Tyler Willis adding 13 and 11 points, respectively.

"Sometimes you have to turn up the volume a little bit, but what I'm blessed with this year is that we have depth, and I can call on some guys off the bench to give us a great lift," said Doty, his team trailing 24-18 after the opening eight minutes.

"Christian did that tonight for us, and it's not really a role he has been asked to fill since early on last year, but as a senior he expected that role tonight and really gave us the spark we needed. He plays so hard, and he drew a couple of charges, rebounded well and hit a couple big 3s. Jack (Haynes) was huge as well and is starting to figure things out and how special a player he can be."

The Bulldogs, who led 11-7 midway into the first before Wilmington grabbed the momentum with a 9-0 burst, recaptured the lead on a Mason Benning layup — completing a 9-0 spurt started by a Bedecker triple — with 10 seconds left before the intermission to hold a 35-34 margin.

"I really like how hard our kids played tonight, and even with the result we played pretty well. They just had more bullets in the holster than us," said WHS coach Bill Karavites. "They were coming at us with their seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth man, and it just wore on us as the game went along.

"There was a stretch there where we just struggled to score the basketball, and we had a couple of possessions, especially early in the fourth quarter, where if we could have been a little more patient we would have gotten a better look. We didn't help ourselves at the free-throw line shooting just (8 of 16) 50%, so we didn't capitalize in that phase like we should have."

Streator outscored the home team in the third period 18-11, with Bedecker swishing a pair of 3s, part of his eight-point frame, Haynes scoring seven, and A.J. Benning converting an old-fashioned three-point play in the final seconds. The Bulldogs then began the final stanza with a steal and coast-to-coast layup by Amarion Ford and back-to-back hoops from Haynes to push the advantage to 59-45.

For the game, Streator shot (24 of 65) 37% from the field compared to Wilmington's (21 of 51) 41%, but owned the boards to the tune of 45-39, including 23-13 on the offensive end.

"You have to come into any conference road game ready to go ... nothing is going to come easily," Doty said. "Give Wilmington credit, they were really good in that first quarter, tough to guard and sharp. We were not, but luckily we were scoring, otherwise it could have been ugly.

"Wins never come easy and never will, especially on the road, but we scratched and clawed and found a way to come away with one tonight."


At Wilmington

Streator 66, Wilmington 56


STREATOR (66) — Starkey 0-6 3-6 3, Ford 2-9 0-2 4, M. Benning 3-11 3-4 10, Haynes 9-20 2-2 20, Tredway 4-5 0-0 8, Bedecker 4-8 4-4 15, A.J. Benning 1-2 1-1 3, Baker 1-1 0-0 2, P. Benning 0-3 0-0 0, Good 0-0 1-2 1, Williamson 0-0 0-0 0, Beals 0-0 0-0 0, Ward 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-65 14-21 66.

WILMINGTON (56) — Humphries 1-7 5-7 7, T. Meents 3-4 2-2 9, Shaw 5-14 1-3 13, Willis 5-7 0-1 11, Kreitz 7-15 0-3 16, Yakima 0-3 0-0 0, Czys 0-1 0-0 0, R. Meents 0-0 0-0 0, Winker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 8-16 56

Streator (4-2, 2-0) 18 17 18 13 — 66

Wilmington (2-3, 0-2) 24 10 11 11 — 56

3-point goals — Streator 4-20 (Starkey 0-1, Ford 0-4, M. Benning 1-5, Haynes 0-3, Bedecker 3-6, A.J. Benning 0-1); Wilmington 6-20 (Humphries 0-3, T. Meents 1-2, Shaw 2-4, Willis 1-2, Kreitz 2-8, Czys 0-1). Rebounds — Streator 45 (Haynes 13, Starkey 8, Bedecker 8); Wilmington 39 (Kreitz 16). Assists – Streator 14 (Starkey 5, M. Benning 4); Wilmington 10 (Shaw 4). Steals — Streator 7 (M. Benning 3); Wilmington 2 (Willis 2). Blocks — Streator 2 (Tredway 1, Baker 1); Wilmington 4 (Kreitz 3). Turnovers — Streator 12, Wilmington 16. Total fouls (fouled out) — Streator 19 (Haynes); Wilmington 17 (none).

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