Next year, Ryan Noda next year will be playing baseball, likely as a pitcher and outfielder at the University of Cincinnati.
But for now, in his senior season playing basketball on Grant's boys basketball team, he seems to have his heart set on handing out assists.
Noda was throwing to and finding his teammates left, right, under the basket in leading the Bulldogs to another North Suburban Prairie Division victory. He finished with 11 assists while scoring 11 points to go with 7 rebounds as Grant handed Round Lake a 78-64 loss on Friday night in Fox Lake.
Matt Malmberg led the Bulldogs with 19 points and Steve Dunning added 14.
"I'm more of a team-guy and I like to get assists," Noda said. "I just like to distribute the ball here and there. It makes the other guys look good.
"We don't stand around a lot, and when they move around I always keep my eyes moving, seeing what I can find -- the defense not looking, seeing someone open. I just like assists because it helps us get more points on the board."
Grant (10-8, 4-2 Prairie) found itself down 25-16 entering the second quarter with three starters in foul trouble. Noda scored 9 of his points and assisted many others in leading a huge turnaround as the Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 28-6 for a 44-31 lead at halftime.
"We didn't come ready to go," Grant coach Wayne Bosworth said. "Round Lake came out with a lot of intensity, and give them a lot of credit -- they worked their tails off in the first quarter.
"We did a nice job during that run. We forced a lot of turnovers and we were able to convert transition layups. That was a big difference, we forced turnovers and got into the passing lanes. We were just disciplined with it. That's why they forced the ball over."
Grant came out with intensity in the second half. Dunning made a layup to cap an 11-5 run for a 55-36 lead with 4:22 left, and the Buldogs led 63-48 lead at the end of the third quarter.
They kept their composure in the final quarter as the Panthers (3-14, 0-6) couldn't get the lead under double digits.
"Our guys did a nice job in the last five minutes of the game, taking time off the clock," Bosworth said. "They iced the game down the stretch and it was nice to see."
Round Lake got a quick start in the opening quarter as Karnell Wright scored 11 of his game-high 29 to open an 11-point Panthers lead.
"We had a goal in the first quarter, to make a statement that we wanted to play," Round Lake coach Jeremy Fisher said. "Unfortunately, we didn't keep that momentum going in the second quarter. Things just got away from us. Our Achilles' heel all season -- we didn't box out, and (Grant) got second and third opportunities. We just didn't take care of business."
Mateusz Lopez chipped in with 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Panthers.