Wauconda downs Antioch to clinch share of NLCC title
Imagine that, a high school kid who is speechless. But you can't really blame Wauconda senior Jake Shanholtzer. After all, Wauconda's boys basketball team hasn't been in this position before.
Following the Bulldogs' dominating 52-21 win at Antioch Tuesday night, Wauconda won a share of its first Northern Lake Country Conference title. The Bulldogs, who also earned their 20th win for just the second time in school history, shared the crown with Round Lake. The Panthers won their game Tuesday night at North Chicago.
"I am just speechless, I don't know quite what to say," Shanholtzer said. "It means the world to me."
The last time Wauconda (20-7, 11-3) won a share of the conference in boys basketball was the 1978-1979 season in the now-defunct Northwest Suburban Conference. The Bulldogs shared the title with Warren that year. Both teams entered that final night of the season tied and both lost to share the crown.
"Knowing Wauconda's history I am proud to be a part of this moment," said Wauconda senior and all-time leading scorer Donovan Carter. "All the hard work we have put in during the offseason makes this all so worth it. We wanted to change the boards in our school."
Wauconda left little doubt from the start that it would clinch a share of the conference as the visitors raced out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. Carter scored 7 of his game-high 16 points in the opening quarter as Wauconda took a 12-3 advantage after one.
"I don't think we were playing team basketball against Round Lake last week," said Shanholtzer, who contributed 5 assists and 7 rebounds to go with his 3 points. "We just came out as a team and played our game."
The lead grew larger in the second quarter as the Bulldogs did their damage at the line nailing all 6 free throws on their way to a 24-7 halftime advantage.
"Since the Round Lake game we have focused on competing," said Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager. "In practice everything was a competition. Whether it was one-on-one or two-on-two, we just competed at everything we did."
The competitive spirit of the Bulldogs was on display in the third quarter as Wauconda put Antioch (12-16, 4-9) away. Wauconda outscored the Sequoits 15-2 to open the period en route to a 42-12 advantage into the final frame.
"Tonight was 41 years in the making," said Luetschwager, who was born in November of 1979, after the Bulldogs won the title earlier that year.
"This was something that these kids wanted when we were setting goals at the start of the season."
Antioch was led by senior Gavin Eldridge with 6 points and 10 rebounds.