Grayslake Central wins defensive battle over rival Grayslake North
Expectations were running high for a great girls basketball matchup between District 127 schools Grayslake North and Grayslake Central. So much that the rivalry was left on the court between both schools for all four quarters on Tuesday night.
What ended up was a defensive battle which Grayslake Central survived a 29-25 victory over its rival and visiting Grayslake North in a Northern Lake County Conference game in Grayslake.
"It doesn't matter how you win or what the score is, a win is a win," Grayslake Central coach Steve Ikenn said. "We talked about things you can't control and shooting was one of them. You can control your effort and your defense. I thought we did a great job with both of those. Grayslake North was a well-coached team. They move the ball and make everybody work. It happens sometimes."
The Rams (2-7, 2-0) had freshman Madison Hoffmann lead the way with 8 of her team-high 12 points in the second half.
"We all came together to get the win," Hoffmann said. "I believe the team executed really well and we saw the court well enough to make the plays. It was fun to play North and the atmosphere was great."
Grayslake North junior Peyton Gerdes nearly had a triple-double and did have a career - best 10 blocks. She also scored a game-high 13 points and pulled down 8 rebounds.
"This game was such a good game," Gerdes said. "These games are always great to play. I'm the only returning starter and our team is so inexperienced. I think it will come with more experience and playing more games. We worked so hard in practice and this game I felt like we were so equal (with Grayslake Central). Right now, we're working really hard."
Gerdes' 10-block effort was something that she's never thought she could do in a game and she made it look exceptional.
"I wasn't thinking about it and it felt good out there," Gerdes said. "It's just reading the player and getting at the place going straight up. It's a lot of finding the ball and timing it right.
The Knights (3-5, 0-2) had a strong effort in staying with the Rams and briefly had some leads before.
"I thought it was a great atmosphere and a great game," Grayslake North coach Roger Lass said. "We really stepped up and played hard. We played well and followed our game plan. A couple of shots in and maybe a miss or two by (Grayslake Central), it might have been a different story."