Grayslake North Knights
Coach: Todd Grunloh, 8th season
Last year: 16-13 (5-7 FVC Fox)
Last year's tournament: Lost in the Prospect regional semifinal to Stevenson, 74-67.
Key players lost: G AJ Fish (Virginia, lacrosse), G Danny Mateling (Knox College), G Nick Carmody, F Anthony Winfield
Key players returning: F Aidan Einloth, soph., C Nate Dodge, sr., G Dom DiProva, jr., G Bandon Tepper, sr., G Matt Taskovic, sr.
Top newcomers: G Bobby Krebs, soph., G Merrick Gentile, soph.
Outlook: Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh is a social studies teacher, but these days he's all wrapped up in chemistry. Team chemistry, of course. "We have a very young team and a solid group of returning seniors who were key contributors to last year's success," Grunloh said. "However, this collection of sophomores, juniors and seniors has had minimal experience playing together so a great deal of our success will be determined by how quickly we mesh as a unit." It will also be determined by how quickly the Knights can replace all the scoring they lost from last year's senior class. Forward AJ Fish, now playing lacrosse at Virginia, averaged 21.1 points per game while Danny Mateling, now playing at Knox College, was at 13 points per game. Point guard Nick Carmody was responsible for a lot of those points, averaging 6.3 assists per game. Anthony Winfield is the fourth starter that the Knights lost to graduation. Overall, Grayslake North lost 8 seniors from last year's team. "Aidan Einloth, a sophomore, has by far the most experience on our current roster," Grunloh said of Einloth, who started 20-plus games last season. "He proved to be a true asset over the summer and can effectively play any position, from point guard to center." Senior guards Brandon Tepper and Matt Taskovic and senior center Nate Dodge, along with junior guard Dom DiProva also got some varsity experience last season. Two promising newcomers are Bobby Krebs and Merrick Gentile, the starting quarterback for the football team, which got to the playoffs this fall. "We do not have a great deal of height but what we lack with overall size, we hope we can make up for with strength and athleticism," Grunloh said.
Opener: Monday vs. Wauconda at the Richmond-Burton tournament (5:30 p.m.)