When Woodstock and Grayslake North last met, the Knights pulled out a dramatic 46-43 overtime win over the visiting Blue Streaks.
Friday night at Woodstock, the Knights almost did it again.
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, senior Teddy Ludwick and the Knights pulled within 5 points on several occasions. But key free throw shooting in the fourth quarter by Woodstock helped the Streaks pull off a surprising 62-56 win in a Fox Valley Conference Fox Division contest.
"I felt like we just had a little too much to overcome there at the end," said Ludwick, who led the Knights with 20 points. "When we were down to 40 seconds left and still down 6, I think we knew it would be too much to overcome."
Grayslake (13-5, 5-2) had many hurdles to overcome throughout the contest. A 13-0 run by Woodstock that gave the home team the lead for good that ended the first quarter and carried into the second quarter was the start of the bad news for the Knights.
Poor shooting, for a team that normally shoots well from anywhere in the gym, was another strike against the visitors. Couple that with red-hot shooting by Woodstock (9-12, 3-3), and Grayslake found itself in quite a hole.
"We were just 6 of 30 from the floor in the first half, and that isn't going to get it done," said North coach Todd Grunloh. "So many of the shots we missed were within 5 feet of the basket. We need our juniors and seniors to step up and make those shots."
Woodstock pulled away in the third quarter thanks to the hot shooting of senior Mike Sutter. Normally a starter, Sutter was benched to start the game for violating team rules. He then proceeded to score 10 of his 11 points in the period.
"We had a lot of kids step up at different times tonight and Mike really helped us on both ends of the floor," said Woodstock coach Alex Baker. "When one guy started clicking, it seemed like the next guy would start to and so on."
When Sutter cooled off, then Jyron Aparri (18 points) and sophomore Jordan Turner heated up. Turner did most of his damage from the line as he led all scorers with 21 points.
Grayslake got to within 5 points twice in the final quarter as Ludwick, AJ Fish (14 points) and Zack Krupp (10 points) kept the Knights close.
"Normally our trapping defense helps force a lot of turnovers and gets our offense going," Ludwick said. "Tonight that didn't happen for us."