Grant's team-first mentality producing in the win column
The Grant boys basketball team has been on a nice run of late, winners of three in a row and four of its last six.
During that span, Grant downed North Chicago by 42 points (76-34), Round Lake by 30 (64-34) and beat Northern Lake County Conference leader Grayslake Central by 14 (56-42).
"You can't single out one guy for us right now," Grant coach Wayne Bosworth said. "We finally have a group with a team-first mentality here in 2022, and a group whose chemistry and confidence are growing by the day."
Bosworth pointed out Grant had four double-digit scorers against Grayslake Central, three against Round Lake (and 2 more with 9) and 3 in double figures with 8 players scoring against North Chicago.
"This is turning into a fun group heading in a good direction," he said.
Defensively, during a recent four-game span, no team scored more than 45 points against Grant with Jacobs (45), Grayslake Central (42), Round Lake (34) and North Chicago (34) being held in check.
Offensively, Grant is shooting 55 percent from the field in its last three games and more than 45 percent from 3 during that span -- knocking down 21 of 46 from beyond the arc.
The Eagles were off to a 4-0 Northern Lake County start after wins against Antioch and Wauconda, before falling to Grayslake Central on Wednesday.
In the Antioch game, Eli Roberts hit a big 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, while Brock Marino and Ethan McGruder also were key contributors, coach Chris Snyder noted. McGruder hit a game-winning 3 against Wauconda with 0.2 seconds left on the clock.
"It was a great team win over a great Wauconda team," Snyder said.
In the Wauconda win, Tyson Dewey had 16 points, while Tyler Anderson was another key contributor.
"Tyson had a great game against Wauconda," Snyder said. "He shot it well. It was a great bounce back for him. Tyler has been so solid for us. He is a great defender and is usually guarding the best ballhandler on the other team. He brings a lot to the team."
Snyder noted Marino has a streak of 3 games with double-doubles. He went for 16 points and 10 rebounds against St. Patrick, 17-12 against Antioch and 14-12 against Wauconda. McGruder hit for 23 points in the Wauconda game.
Vernon Hills update:
A 51-45 road loss to Niles North and a 67-60 road nonconference win against Buffalo Grove put Vernon Hills at 12-5 overall and 2-2 in Central Suburban North action.
Cougars coach Matt McCarty has been particularly impressed with the play of Justin St. Louis of late. He had 25 points (4 3s), 3 rebounds and 1 steal against Buffalo Grove and had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals against Niles North.
"I think Justin would be the first to tell you he did not play his best basketball during our holiday tournament, so he really worked hard during practices leading up to the Niles North game. He is also one of our top defenders and regularly has to guard our opponents' best player."
Erik Rimas and Max Brusso each had 5 assists against Buffalo Grove. Vernon Hills had 14 assists for the game against only 8 turnovers. "I was very pleased how we were sharing and moving the ball," McCarty said. "I felt like it was our best offensive game of the season."
Coach Pat Ambrose was impressed with Stevenson's recent win against Lake Zurich in North Suburban action. "We just beat a solid Lake Zurich team with good team defense," he said. "We have all players stepping up, especially our seniors. It's a nice bunch of student-athletes."
Seniors Trenton Crandall and Leighton Costello and freshman Marshall Gehrke each had 11 points in a 1-point overtime loss to conference leader Lakes.
"Leighton has emerged as our third-leading scorer and has been shooting it well as of late," Antioch coach Sean Connor said. "He's leading the team in 3-pointers made and is second on the team in assists and blocks."
Connor also likes where the Sequoits' defense is headed. In Antioch's first six games, it gave up 54 points per game. In the last six, that number dipped to 45. "Our defense has been improving," he said.
Grayslake North update:
The Knights are on a four-game winning streak and have bumped their record to 6-8. Dominic Jankowski had 16 points, Joseph Valera 15, Jacob Donohue 11 and Jayden Hunt 10 in a 74-28 win over Round Lake, giving North four double-digit scorers in that contest.
"Freshman guard Jayden Hunt is finding his stride of late," North coach Josh Feinzimer said. "He's shooting the ball with more confidence and continuing to knock down a high percentage of his 3s. I am really excited about what the future holds for Jayden."
The Bulldogs were sitting at 10-3 overall and 2-1 in NLCC action. Griffin Daun had 27 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block against Lakes.
Grayslake Central update:
The Rams checked in at 9-7 overall and 3-1 in a competitive NLCC after a win against Antioch.
Coach Brian Centella noted junior point guard Dennis Estepp had 17 points, 4 assists and 5 steals against Antioch. "Dennis had a tremendous game," he said.
Centella also likes the development of senior forward Brendan Whalen. "Brendan has asserted himself as one of the best players in the NLCC," he said.
Whalen is averaging 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Depth also has helped the Rams this season. "One of the strengths of our team is our depth," Centella pointed out. "We have been getting great contributions from a lot of different guys."
The Corsairs are 12-7 overall and 3-3 in East Suburban Catholic action. Carmel will again take a break from conference play for a nice road trip to Moline this weekend.
"I always say my goal is to give the kids who play for me the best possible experience playing high school basketball," coach Zack Ryan said. "We're going to Moline and playing at Wharton Fieldhouse. Over the holidays, we played at Centralia. Some historic places in a three-week span."
New Barrington book:
When Mike Obsuszt became head basketball coach at Barrington in 1996, he wondered where all the school basketball records were.
"We knew who held the record for points in a game, but that was about it," Obsuszt said.
Obsuszt was able to glean more information about other boys basketball records throughout the next seven years he remained head coach. And even when he was named athletic director in 2003, the thought was never far from his mind.
Obsuszt put thought to paper the past two years and produced a book that was recently released called "The Unofficial History of Barrington High School Boys' Basketball." He said it was a labor of love.
"It was fun," "Obsuszt said. "It started out that I just wanted to get some notes down on paper and stories about basketball happenings in the past. It just became a COVID project that took on a life of its own."
Obsuszt said that he did most of research during the beginning of the COVID outbreak when high school sports were shut own. He found old season summary reports on basketball teams and went through those.
He also enlisted the help from previous coaches Tom Mooney, Paul Gillette, Marty Dello and current coach Bryan Tucker. He spoke to former athletes from as far back as the 1950s. He also went through old newspaper articles and scrapbooks.
Obsuszt said he also leaned heavily for help from former Daily Herald prep sports writer Marty Maciaszek, who was able to assist with information. Annie Loizzi also helped to format the book.
"The more information I got, the more I jotted down," Obsuszt said. "So, I decided to do a deep dive. It is obviously not a completed work. There are still a lot of stories and history that I didn't have information on. It is a starting point anyway."
When he came up for air, Obsuszt had produced a 75-page book that includes a comprehensive account of each Barrington boys basketball season beginning with the 1947-48 campaign.
"Now there is a documented history in the basketball program," Obsuszt said. "Now, not only is there a documented history, but there are not just scores and stats, but some unique stories along with it."
Obsuszt wanted to remind everyone that this is just a first edition.
"I am sure we missed some big games and some great stories," Obsuszt said. "Or maybe there is stat here or there that is not correct. Hopefully it can be built on in the future."
Obsuszt, who is retiring after the end of the school year after 19 years as athletic director, said this is his gift to the Barrington community.
"it's been great," Obsuszt said. "I have enjoyed every minute of it."
The book is not available for sale as of yet. Obsuszt said that copies have been given out to supporters of the basketball program. Other copies have been reserved for fundraisers for not just the boys' basketball program, but for other nonprofit organizations chosen by the school.
Obsuszt will have some fun with those memories Saturday night. The last team Obsuszt coached, the 2002 Barrington team, will be honored during the Broncos' game against Grant. That 2002 team lost in the supersectional to Highland Park.