Shooting free throws has been a thorn in the side of Grayslake North's boys basketball team since the opening week of the season.
So the Knights turned to practice in search of better results.
They then hit the court Friday night and -- lo and behold -- got the results they sought. They made 17 of 21 shots from the charity stripe for 81 percent and beat visiting Antioch 56-48 in a nonconference game.
Grayslake North had been shooting 40 percent from the line. The Knights were 13 of 16 (82 percent) from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
"We literally dedicate 20 minutes a day to free throws in practice," Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh said. "We used to take it for granted because we had teams that shot free throws well."
Brandon Tepper (11 points) made 5 of 6 free throws in the final quarter, which helped the Knights rally from a 43-41 deficit. They closed the game with a 15-5 run.
"It's very important (to make free throws) when it's late in the game," Tepper said. "We've been shooting more free throws in practice. We do three minutes every other drill, and it really helped us out."
A.J. Marsiglio scored a career-high 26 points, including six 3-pointers, to lead Antioch (2-7), which suffered its fourth straight loss.
Grayslake North (2-8) has had problems closing out games, mostly because of a number of turnovers. But the Knights cut down their turnovers and made sure they would not let this one get away.
"We've done a nice job of limiting our turnovers," Grunloh said. "It was nice to see us handle the ball and make free throws in pressure situations. Our kids did a nice job to stay pretty calm and knock down some free throws. We were able to get stops."
Grayslake North, which held a 26-22 halftime lead, got a team-high 19 points from Dom DiProva. He scored 5 points to start the second half, and the Knights' 7-0 run moved their lead to 33-23 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
Antioch scored seven unanswered points, including five by Marsiglio, to cut its deficit to 33-30. But the Knights answered with six straight points. DiProva dropped in a short jump shot in the final seconds for a 39-33 lead after three.
DiProva opened the fourth with a layup that made the score 41-33. Marsiglio then started a 10-0 run with a couple of 3s, and Antioch grabbed the lead at 43-41 with 4:49 left.
"Every open look, I was trying to shoot it," Marsiglio said. "I was just feeling it from the first shot."
Antioch has had its struggles closing out games, mostly from the free-throw line.
"We're executing fine at times," Antioch coach Jim White said. "We're hurting ourselves with the easy stuff. We have to find ways to get some wins and keep the opposition off the free-throw line."