Grayslake Central outlasts Grayslake North
Grayslake North junior forward Peyton Gerdes put on quite a show Friday night, pouring in 22 of her team's 30 points in a girls basketball game against visiting Grayslake Central.
But GC earned the right to enjoy a curtain call after staging a 36-30 victory in Northern Lake County Conference action.
"We made the last run," a relieved GC coach Steve Ikenn said, alluding to his team's 12-0 spurt in the third quarter after GN's Knights had taken their first lead of the night, 19-17, at the 6:34 mark.
North's most significant run of the night was Gerdes' 14-0 run that bridged the second and third frames. Gerdes -- the daughter of Grayslake Central trainer Glen Gerdes -- had opened the scoring with the first of her 4 3-pointers in the second minute of the clash between District 127 schools.
GC (8-15, 7-2) then tallied the next 10 points to close the first quarter and went up 17-5 at 5:13 of the second stanza after a personal 5-0 run by Rams senior forward Piper Gallaher (team-high 13 points).
The hosts could have wilted, could have asked for mercy. They battled instead.
"I'm extremely proud of the way we fought back after falling behind early," Knights coach Roger Lass said. "The girls had faith they'd be able to make it a game."
North (9-13, 3-6) also had Gerdes on its side. The splendid 6-footer scored in a variety of ways and thrilled her school's student fans more than a few times with her resplendent dribbling skills. The hoopster who had amassed the most impressive number Friday night, fittingly, had chosen math teacher and former GC cager Jenny Rich on North's Staff Appreciation Night.
"I got a C on my first AP Calc test," Gerdes said after her 22-point, 11-rebound effort. "I immediately thought, 'I'm going to need extra help.' Mrs. Rich was patient and put me through a lot of walk-throughs."
Gerdes' grades since then? Nothing but A's.
Grayslake Central senior forward Carissa Guerrier aced Friday night's basketball test with her all-out hustle. The 5-9 Ram finished with 7 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals -- 3 in the first 8 minutes -- as GC raced to a 10-3 lead.
"It came down to wanting it," Guerrier said. "We wanted it. We knew, in order to win, we had to play together, play team ball. My role is the same as all of my teammates'. I try my best to lift us with my energy."
Junior guard Katie Dinsmore and senior guard Monica Schleg netted 7 points apiece for the Rams, who defeated the Knights in another low-scoring contest on Dec. 7. Freshman guard/forward Madison Hoffmann grabbed 6 of her 11 rebounds in the fourth quarter.
North trailed only 31-28 at 3:01 of the final quarter following a Dani Hanson bucket. But GC limited GN to only 2 points the rest of the way and got 4 free throws from Gallaher in the final 2:22.
Knights senior reserve guard/forward Abbie Kukis came down with 10 boards, 5 in the final 8 minutes.