Carter, Wauconda pull away from Grayslake Central
Wauconda senior forward Garrison Carter stood in amazement that his 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer did not swish through the nets on Wednesday night.
Carter did nearly everything else right against Grayslake Central, prompting him to be shocked that his pull-up jumper was off target.
With Grayslake Central senior forward Brendan Whalen unable to play against the Bulldogs, Carter had freedom to roam inside the arc.
But the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Carter elected to work on another aspect of his game -- his 3-point shooting.
And that was a good decision for Carter, but not for the Rams.
Carter canned 3 straight 3-pointers early in the second quarter to spark the Bulldogs to a 65-42 win over the Rams in Northern Lake County Conference boys basketball action.
Carter showed he can play inside and outside with his stellar shooting, hitting 3 first-half 3s to tally 18 of the Bulldogs' first 27 points. He finished with 26 points and 9 rebounds and tied a career-high with 4 3-pointers to lead a balanced attack for the Bulldogs (13-3, 4-1).
Justin Drobnik scored 13 points, Cayden Mudd added 10 and Griffin Daun had 8 points for the Bulldogs.
Carter, a left-hander with a soft shooting touch, opened the second quarter by burying a deep 3 from near the top of the key, then added a corner trey while fading out of bounds. He closed his three-possession shooting show with a slide-step to his left 3-pointer to pad the lead to 27-15, causing a fan to yell out "MVP."
Carter credited his hard work for his breakout shooting game.
"The slide-step three was my (favorite) because I practice it so many times," Carter said. "To see it finally pay off in a game felt good. I was enjoying the moment, and felt like I was in rhythm. It was great to come out with a win.
"Tonight just happened to be a night where the shots were falling. I'm kind of speechless now."
Carter, who did not play basketball in his junior season after averaging 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2 steals as a sophomore, drained a 3-pointer early in the fourth to end his scoring night.
"Garrison is a baller for us," Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager said. "He was feeling it and stroking it today. He can play. He can do this on any given night."
Grayslake Central (12-9, 4-2) couldn't sustain any momentum without Whalen in the lineup. Senior guard Darryl Overstreet was one of the few bright spots, hitting 2 fourth-quarter 3-pointers to finish with 14 points. Junior point guard Dennis Estepp led the Rams with 15 points.
"Garrison is a really good player," Grayslake Central coach Brian Centella said. "He was a key player on a very good team as a sophomore. Hats off to him. He hurt us inside and outside. He played great tonight. Tonight was certainly not our night. We have a lot to learn.
"Darryl is a senior who really cares and all about the team. That showed tonight. There's no quit in him. He's got that grit, toughness and leadership, which is really important to our team. On a night when it felt like nothing went our way, it was great to see our seniors battle from start to finish."