Trail Blazed: John Wood hits stride as postseason begins - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Trail Blazed: John Wood hits stride as postseason begins

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The John Wood women's basketball team won 15 out of their last 20 games after an 0-10 start. The John Wood women's basketball team won 15 out of their last 20 games after an 0-10 start.

QUINCY, IL. (WGEM) -- It took this year's edition of John Wood women's basketball six weeks to pick up win number one.

The Lady Blazers started the season with a loss on November 3 and 42 days, and 10 losses later, they beat Carl Sandburg 10 days before Christmas.

Most teams would have fallen apart.

But not Norm Rodriguez's bunch.

They won four straight games, 10 out of 12, and 15 out of their final 20 games to end the regular season. Victories in some key contests down the stretch seemed to completely push the season around.

"I think that gave the girls a lot of confidence," Rodriguez said.

"I think they're to the point where they believe in themselves (and) they believe in the team."

According to guard Madelyn Hyer, "We knew for conference (play) we had to get out on a run. The first semester kind of put us back a couple of steps, but we knew coming into conference we just had to get on a run."

John Wood's successful rush to the finish line landed them the second seed in the Region 24 Tournament, as well as three All-Conference selections, and Co-Coach of the Year honors.

But there's business to take care of as the Lady Blazers turn their focus towards earning the program's first national tournament appearance.

"We're really going to focus on one game at a time," forward Autumn Voigt said.

"Right now you can prepare for all three games, but when it comes down to it, you just focus for the first game."

Guard Mackenzie Patrick added: "I think we just need to grind it out, push each other, and work as hard as we can. I think (we need to) hold each other accountable and really just keep working hard."

The postseason begins Friday afternoon as John Wood squares off against Lincoln Land, who they split with during the conference schedule.

Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Lincoln Land in Springfield.

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