Roberts' buzzer-beater sends Lakes past Grayslake North

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/25/2022 10:04 PM

It was a big 3-pointer and even bigger shot that beat the buzzer for Lakes' Eli Roberts.

The senior banked it off the glass and through the net as the clock went to zero on the scoreboard as the Eagles soared to another impressive victory over visiting Grayslake North, 60-59, in a Northern Lake County Conference boys basketball game in Lake Villa on Tuesday night.


Roberts came off the bench with 15 points and hit 3 3-pointers in the second half. He also wears number 3 on his jersey.

"The coach drew up a play for Ethan McGruder to drive the lane or get the ball to the outside shooters," Roberts said. "I pulled up and felt confident with the shot. Knowing myself and my game, I just had to take it. I just threw it and prayed, honestly. I was just hoping that I would get a lucky bounce. It was a big shot. I do like to hit 3s. I feel like a shooter."

Lakes (11-10, 7-1) still sits in the NLCC race with Wauconda and Grayslake Central.

The Eagles trailed 35-21 at the break and rallied to take a 3-point lead in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, 54-51.

They gave up the lead in the final minute and trailed the Knights 59-54 until Roberts dropped 2 treys to win the game.

"We've had some moments and a few of them on this court this year," Lakes coach Chris Snyder said. "We've got a group that sticks with it and keeps fighting back. It's fun for them to create these memories. It was just another fun ending. These guys just stuck with it there and we just had the opportunity at the end and our guys took advantage of it."

Brock Marino scored 19 of his team-high 25 points in the second half during the comeback and added 10 rebounds and 6 blocked shots for the Eagles. McGruder added 12 points including a buzzer-beater of his own ending the opening quarter from about 35 feet.

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Grayslake North (8-11, 2-3) had one of its best first halves this season when it opened a 14-point advantage, but the Knights let the Eagles back into the game. Dominic Jankowski sank 10 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter of his game-high 27 points and gave the Knights the 5-point lead with 28 seconds remaining.

"It was two teams playing hard and executing well," Grayslake North coach Josh Feinzimer said. "They just gave it their all. I just feel bad for our guys because we had two of our key guys get into foul trouble and we lost them for most of the second half. We lost the lead, and we regained the lead. That was excellence resiliency and fight. I'm proud and sorry for them with the way it ended. It was heartbreaking. You play this game long enough and you coach it long enough, you will be on the losing end of games like that and hopefully you're on the winning end next time."

Joseph Valera added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals and Vito Vizzini chipped in with 7 for the Knights.

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