Round Lake handles Grant

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/7/2020 11:13 PM

Round Lake has taken its show on the road with its student body and fan support picking up on the winning attitude. .

So much so that they nearly filled up the entire opposing side bleachers at Grant on Friday night.


Round Lake didn't disappoint the faithful on hand with a rousing second half and a fourth quarter finish for a 51-36 victory over host Grant in a Northern Lake County Conference boys basketball game in Fox Lake.

Oh by the way, the Panthers (17-8, 7-2) trailed by 8 points early in the third quarter and outscored the Bulldogs (6-18, 2-7) 29-6 the rest of the way.

"Teams at this point are going to bring their best every single night," Round Lake coach Jay Iden said. "We talk about milestones and winning different types of games. Every night, teams will bring their best. Whatever we did the game before, will not be good enough. The next game after what we did tonight will not be good enough. So, we instill that in every drill we do, it's a battle and it's a match. Defensively, that's a battle, transition that's a battle, offensively that's a battle. The mindset, I believe gets us going, maybe we keep going and it never stops."

Grant had a great game plan in place going for the first half and held a 28-22 lead in its favor. It looked like the Bulldogs were in control.

But, something had to change for the Panthers after the Bulldogs' Randall Holm hit a short jump shot of his 7 points off the bench for the 8-point advantage with 6:45 left.

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The Panthers started to pick up their intensity with the crowd and clawed back within 2 points, and trailed 31-29 by the end of third.

Round Lake's Hakim Williams opened the fourth quarter with a steal and an open court dunk that tied the game at 31-31 with 7:44 left

Then after Nick Pierre hit a 3-pointer, Williams followed with a 3 of his own that raised the lead to 37-33 with 5:05 remaining.

"That was all the energy we needed," Williams said. "Once I stepped into it off the pass, I knew the shots would go in and I didn't think about it."

Williams actually scored 9 of his 13 points in the fourth after having only 4 in the first three quarters.

Deveauntay McNeal scored a game-high 16 points as the Panthers went on to the 15-point victory.

"We all are feeling the energy level," McNeal said. "Once we got going, we were all excited, that pumped us up and got the lead. Our progression is getting better and every game were ready. Our fans got us pumped up and it's the first time I've seen that."

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