Grayslake North hangs on to snap crosstown losing streak
The crosstown rivalry lived up to its billing Wednesday night when host Grayslake North met Grayslake Central in the battle of Grayslake in a Northern Lake County Conference girls basketball showdown.
Leading by 16 points late in the third quarter, it looked like the host Knights just might cruise to victory over their archrival Rams. But Grayslake Central (12-9, 7-1) put together a fantastic rally to deadlock the score at 37-37 on a rebound basket by Ann Wolff with 2:39 to play.
But that was as close as the Rams would get as Grayslake North (15-8, 6-2) pulled away the rest of the way for a 46-40 NLCC victory to snap a very long losing streak against Grayslake Central.
Grayslake North senior Peyton Gerdes (game-high 25 points) was a huge factor in the win as she scored two baskets off steals late in the contest to give the Knights a 45-38 lead with 52 seconds remaining.
"Oh my God this was our time. I mean you know playing four years on varsity, playing them eight times and being defeated seven out of eight times it's hard," said Gerdes. "I think this is the first win for Grayslake North in 13 years so history was made. I'm super excited, and this was the one big goal this season was to beat Central because crosstown rivalries are always important to teams."
A 3-pointer by Central's Madison Hoffmann (team-high 13 points) cut the lead to 37-35 before Wolff (11 points) tied the game at 37-37.
"It was a great comeback. I think we just dug ourselves a little bit too big a hole, and when you do that you've got to expend a lot of energy," said Central coach Steve Ikenn. "You've got to give them credit. They didn't crack under that pressure after we were able to tie it and they scored again."
North's Dani Hanson (7 points) hit two key free throws for a 43-38 lead with 1:17 left while teammates Makayla Campbell and Lucy Roscoe chipped in 6 and 5 points, respectively. The Rams got 8 points from Katelyn Marcelain while freshman teammate Mosey Drevline scored all 6 of her points in the first half.
"They definitely came though. Kind of late in that third quarter and early in the fourth quarter things got away from us, but we have really good leadership that stayed composed," said North coach Brian Frericks. "I know this is a huge game for her (Gerdes). I know her sister played here four years and none of them have ever beaten Grayslake Central so I know this was a big deal. She really showed what a leader she is. She stepped up in a big game when we needed her to."