It might be something personal.
Grayslake North senior Anthony Winfield recalled during football season that he had a field day when Jacobs battled his Knights.
"I think I had something like 7 receptions for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns,'' Winfield said.
It's basketball season now, and Winfield and the Knights invited that same Jacobs school in for a game of hoops on Friday night. And it was the same player giving the Golden Eagles fits. It was Winfield's rebound and bucket with just over a second to play that provided the winning margin for North.
Three seniors -- Winfield, A.J. Fish and Danny Mateling -- combined for 49 of North's 55 points in the Knights' 55-53 win. Winfield scored all of his 10 points in the second half.
"I was just in the right place at the right time,'' Winfield said. "I just try and hit the boards."
North coach Todd Grunloh noted he almost lost Winfield's services when he didn't come out for basketball as junior.
"He worked on football all year,'' Grunloh said. "He knew we had a position for him. He gets most of his points cleaning up the boards."
At least for the first quarter, this looked like anyone's game as Jacobs (1-5) took a 15-14 first quarter lead. And then the home team missed its first seven shots of the second quarter. During the six-minute drought, the Golden Eagles surged to a double digit lead (27-14).
"Our defense wasn't working out,'' Mateling said. "We weren't playing our game."
Fish had 10 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter. His flip shot gave the Knights (5-3) its first lead since the first quarter at 38-36.
Mateling, on his way to a game-high 5 three-pointers, nailed a trey with 5 seconds to play in the third quarter and gave North a 43-40 lead.
This senior's final two 3-pointers of the evening came in the final quarter. His last one gave the Knights some breathing room at 49-45.
"Danny is a great 3-point shooter at home,'' Grunloh said.
Jacobs senior Will Schwerdtmann wasn't quite ready to hand this game over to the Knights just yet. Held scoreless at halftime, Schwerdtmann scored 9 of his team-high 11 points in the game's final quarter.
"He had some big baskets,'' said Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle. "Those were clutch
shots and he had the big three to tie it up."
Following Winfield's put-back, Jacobs point guard, Chishawn Orange, gave his team some hope when he launched a long 3-pointer. It bounced off the rim.
North did all of its scoring from the floor. Fish attempted the lone 2 free throws of the night for the Knights and he missed both of them. Also helping the Golden Eagles on this night were Lake Ojo (9 points), Nick Ledinsky (8 points), Blake Micel (6 points) and Patrick Nerja (6 points).
North's Ben Smith added 4 points off the bench.