As he headed toward his Antioch basketball team’s locker room, where a couple of large boxes of doughnuts awaited the victors, Kyle Gofron seemed to be in a dunkin’ kind of mood.
The 6-foot sophomore suddenly jumped from a flat-footed position, grabbed the rim with two hands, rocked it and let go.
“I was hyped,” Gofron said with a smile and shrug.
His enthusiasm was understandable, for suddenly the Sequoits are fattening up on wins.
They ran their winning streak to a season-best three games with a 74-59 win over visiting Round Lake, as Gofron led the way with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and a blocked shot.
Antioch will take a 7-18 record, including 3-8 in the North Suburban Prairie Division, into Friday’s divisional finale at home against Lakes.
“We’re playing as a team,” Gofron said. “We’re putting the ball in the basket. That’s pretty much it. We’re just doing what we need to do.”
Antioch is, in fact, 3-0 in February, after losing all eight of its games in January. The Sequoits were coming off a thrilling upset win over Grant less than 24 hours earlier.
“I was worried about today,” coach Jim White said after his Sequoits hit their season-high point total. “I couldn’t sleep last night because of the anticipation. I didn’t want a letdown after how excited people were last night. We talked about getting that one (against Grant) because that could catapult us into a winning streak, which is what we need. We knew January was going to be tough. We just had a lot of games.”
Karnell Wright led Round Lake (4-20, 0-12) with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds, despite fouling out with more than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Mateusz Lopez scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for the Panthers, who have three regular-season games left.
“We’re just having a hard time putting four quarters together,” Round Lake coach Jeremy Fisher said after his team dropped its fifth in a row. “We played three good quarters last night (against Vernon Hills) and had a bad third quarter. ... We’ll get there.”
Antioch also got 12 points (all in the first half) from Hamza Abdellatif, while Joe Reiser added a career-high 10. Reiser took 5 shots, all in the second half, and made them all. White was thrilled for the unsung senior.
“He’s got the heart of a champion,” Antioch’s coach said. “He just battles. He does a lot of little things.”
“We were moving the ball really well,” Reiser said. “(Round Lake) was overplaying a little bit. I made a couple of backdoor cuts, and guys hit me.”
Round Lake led 28-26 midway through the second quarter, but Abdellatif’s free throw started an 8-0 run, which also included 4 free throws by Joshua Bell.
Gofron hit a turnaround shot from the wing in the closing seconds, giving Antioch a 39-32 lead going into halftime.
“It got me going,” said Gofron, who like Abdellatif, hit two 3-pointers in the opening half. “I just came out to play (in the second half). We needed to put points on the board, so I tried to do whatever we needed to do.”
A free throw by Matthew Powers (9 points, 9 rebounds) started a 7-2 run to start the second half for Antioch, and Round Lake never cut its deficit to single digits after that.
So much for the possibility of the Sequoits falling flat after their exciting win Friday night.
“I wasn’t really worried about the letdown,” Reiser said. “I was feeling good coming in, and I know everyone else was feeling good coming in.”