Boys Basketball: Grayslake Central advances past host AntiochANITOCH Tuesday Feb 28 2012
Antioch's Karl Nettgen (23) pushes up past Grayslake Central's Sean Geary (4).| Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 28, 2012 11:13PM
Grayslake Central’s basketball team believes that with its homecourt advantage — featuring the energetic Ram Nation of student-fans — no team will be able to deny it the Class 3A sectional title next week.
The key is getting there.
On Tuesday, the Rams took a very shaky first step in the right direction by edging host Antioch 49-42 in the regional semifinals.
What awaits on Friday night in the regional final likely will be a third meeting of the season with rival Grayslake North.
The teams split their regular-season contests, and Friday’s game literally will be a winner-take-all/loser goes home battle for the ages.
Tuesday’s Ram victory over a six-win Antioch squad was not the kind of stuff that makes you think the Rams will beat the likes of North Chicago, Lakes and/or Ridgewood in the sectional.
Let alone a red-hot Grayslake North team that would like nothing better than to make the Rams’ gym their “home” next week.
“The nice thing with high-school kids is that by the time they get home and turn on the X-Box, they’re going to have moved on,” said Grasylake coach Brian Moe. “This game will be a distant memory by the time they head to school tomorrow.
“Survive and move on. It doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win.”
Winning on Tuesday was made possible by Jordan Taylor.
Antioch went on a 13-1 run that made it 40-39 with 2:17 to play. Taylor then hit a baseline jumper with 1:48 to play and the Rams (20-8) hit 7-of-8 from the stripe to close out the win.
For the game, Grayslake was 17-of-46 shooting, 1-of-10 from behind the arc. Taylor was 5-of-20 from the field.
“Every shot felt good, it just wasn’t going in tonight,” Taylor said. “In the end, I knew I had to make a play because I definitely did not want this to be my last game. Sayvonte (McWilliams) made a nice pass to give me a good look.”
Taylor led the winners in scoring with 16. McWilliams added 12 and Danny Reed also had 12.
For Antioch, big Karl Nettgen had 18 points and six rebounds, and Emery Paramski had nine points.