Einloth, Grayslake North sharing in the success
Being unselfish and playing team ball are quickly become hallmarks for the Grayslake North's unbeaten boys basketball team.
Aidan Einloth is a big part of that equation.
He had a game-high 19 points along with 13 rebounds, 7 assists and a couple of blocked shots on Saturday afternoon as the Knights improved to 8-0 overall with an 81-44 victory over visiting Woodstock.
"This year, we've got so many weapons," Einloth said. "Previous years, I had to be more assertive on the court. Now I can look to pass to other people. It's now becoming contagious -- everyone wants to share, and you see on the scoreboard double-digit scoring with everyone. I do like to do everything to help the team overall. But most of all I do like assists, making a great pass."
True to form, there was plenty of scoring balance for Grayslake North as the other four starters reached double figures. Bobby Krebs finished with 17 points and 5 boards, while Jamal Thomas and Connor Sinclair both chipped in with 11 and James Connolly had 10.
Thomas also contributed 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double in four games.
"With a team like us, it's nice to be picky as a coaching staff," said Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh, whose team let up a big lead slip in the first half against Woodstock. "We didn't finish quarters against Grayslake Central and we were up by 10 to 15 points. But it's a luxury to have. We need to finish out quarters, (against Woodstock) and handle the ball better.
"The fun thing about this group is they're so unselfish. We haven't had a moment of the season where anyone has shown selfish basketball. We look like this every day in practice It's a very unselfish group that knows to work together. They can get any shot they want. As long as we keep moving the ball and don't care who scores, we can do a lot of special things."
The Knights (8-0, 2-0) led from the start to the finish and came out firing in the opening quarter, jumping out to an 18-4 lead. Krebs was made a 3 and had a layup in the run.
"It feels good to start making the shots," said Krebs, who said he'd been in a shooting slump the previous week. "The game, though, is on all of our backs. But it helps when we can drive and we're able to kick the ball out to hit the open shot."
Grayslake North extended its lead to 25-6 after Jon Smithson hit a short jumper with 6:15 left in the second quarter.
Woodstock (5-2, 2-1) made a strong bid to get back into the game with a 16-4 run, during which Michael Shook (team-high 15 points) dropped in his three treys. His last cut the lead to 29-22 with 1:55 remaining.
But Thomas made a transition layup to closed the half with a 7-3 Knights spurt, and Grayslake North led 36-25 at the break.
"With the exception of the second quarter, I don't think there was a time we were playing at the level that (Grayslake North) was playing," Woodstock North coach Al Baker said. "We obviously got off to a bad start. It might have been closer in the third quarter.
"We talked all week about slowing down their transition game. We had two or three ideas about how to do that, but nothing came close to it."
The Knights kept running the rest of the way and earned a 53-36 lead by the end of the third quarter. Then they outscored the Blue Streaks 28-8 in the final quarter.
Grayslake North has extended its home winning streak to 11, dating back to last year. They're (3-0) so far this season on their home court.