It seemed odd at halftime.
Grayslake North high scorer Ryan Connolly had more rebounds than points at the break, and his Knights held a slim lead at 23-22.
And then Connolly produced a 7-point play.
OK, it's hitting a 3-pointer, getting fouled and making the free throw for a rare 4-point play -- and the next time down court, connecting on another 3.
Halfway through the third quarter, the North lead had swelled to 14 points at 36-22. Lakes senior Michael Behrendt noted the scoring swing provided by Connolly and decided to do something about it.
"That was 7 points by himself,'' Behrendt said. "I needed to take over the game."
Behrendt answered with a 5-point play of his own -- that is, a 3-pointer plus a steal and layup.
His Eagles teammates decided to join in the fun. Ethan Greenfield and Jeff Milostan fired in consecutive 3-pointers.
Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh has seen this kind of pattern before.
"That's us,'' Grunloh said. "We've had 8-point leads in every game."
Lakes completed the comeback and with an 48-43 victory at North moved to 1-0 in the Northern Lake County Conference race.
"It wasn't looking good,'' said Lakes coach Chris Snyder. "We've struggled to score this year. We started to hit some shots."
Possibly inspired by a dunk from 6-footer Connolly, the Knights (2-3) surged early and held an 11-7 lead after one quarter.
That's when Behrendt made his move. He had his own personal 7-point run in the second quarter and the game was close at halftime.
"Behrendt is solid,'' Grunloh said. "And a couple of their other guys hit shots."
Behrendt is impressed with this Eagles squad. He knows his team isn't the tallest one around but into other intangible categories they're performing well.
"There are no egos on this team,'' Behrendt said. "We have a lot of chemistry."
The half closed with a pair of 3s from both squads. Both Austin Martineau (North) and Matt Ott (Lakes) hit 3s for their lone scores of the game.
The Eagles (3-3) got a spark off the bench to take a slim lead to the fourth quarter. Logan McCann tallied on a reverse layup to give the Eagles a lead.
Twenty seconds later, the senior, grabbed a board and put it back for a 39-38 lead.
"I'm glad we stayed calm,'' Snyder said. "This was a good team effort. It looked bleak for awhile, and we got right back into it."
Again, the Eagles had help from one of the taller members of the squad. Wade Parmly (6-4) tallied on back-to-back plays to give the Eagles some breathing room at 43-40.
On a James Connolly free throw, the Knights were still in it down just 45-43 with less than four minutes to play. That, however, was North's last point of the game.
"This is the second year in a row, we've played this type of game with
Grayslake North,'' Behrendt said. "Both games, we've had to come from behind. We
just need to stay composed."
Behrendt led all scorers with 15 points. Bradley Cherry finished with 7 for Lakes after calmly making 2 free throws in the final seconds. Parmly added 6.
The Connolly brothers led the way for North. James finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds, and Ryan had 11 points.