Knights snap skid against RamsGrayslake North's A.J. Fish (left) dribbles past Grayslake Central's Dan Reed.
Updated: March 23, 2011 9:28AM
The streak is over.
And it was worth the wait for Grayslake North High's boys basketball team.
Six days after it was originally scheduled, the host Knights posted their first victory in 10 tries against sister-school Grayslake Central with a 56-40 win on Monday.
Grayslake North (15-5 overall, 7-2 in the Fox Valley Fox Division) stayed within striking distance of league leading Crystal Lake Central (7-1), while the Rams dropped to 11-10, 6-3.
The final meeting of the regular season between the Knights and the Rams was set for last Tuesday, but because of the heavy snow last week, it could not be held until yesterday.
That wait almost too much for Grayslake North senior guard Teddy Ludwick.
"Me and the other two seniors (David Sparks and Patrick Delamar) on the team were so excited to get another chance to finally beat (Grayslake Central), but the game kept getting pushed back," said Ludwick, who led all scorers with 14 points. "It was killing us that we couldn't play.
"We knew this was probably going to be our last chance and we didn't want to end our careers without finally getting a win. We will remember this for a long time."
The wait probably helped the Knights more than it hurt, as they were able to get more practice time on defense to implement a 2-3 zone against the taller Rams.
"We never play a zone, but we practiced it a lot last week," said Ludwick. "We are usually the bigger team when we play, but the last time (Grayslake Central) hurt us with their big guys. We wanted to pack it in and make them beat us shooting from the outside."
The strategy worked to perfection.
"We played little zone for about a quarter against Woodstock, and they killed us from the outside," said Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh, whose team set a school record for victories (15) in a season with the win. "We didn't expect to stay in the zone the whole 32 minutes (on Monday), but it was working."
With their big players neutralized with the zone, the Rams tried to counter the defense by shooting from the perimeter, but could make only 7 of 29 three-point attempts in the game.
The zone defense also cut off the penetration of Grayslake Central's crafty junior guard Jordan Taylor, who finished with only three points in the loss.
The Rams stayed within striking distance most of the game, trailing only by five points at 37-32 heading into the fourth quarter, but in the final eight minutes, the Knights' defense forced the Ram to take numerous 3-point attempts without much luck. They also limited Grayslake Central to just one shot on many offensive possessions.
"It was a great team win," said Ludwick. "Everyone did their job and got the job done."
Besides 14 points from Ludwick, Grayslake North also received 13 points from sophomore A.J. Fish, 11 points from junior Zack Krupp and 8 points from junior Mark Hall.
Sophomore guard Dan Reed (11 points) was the only player in double figures for Grayslake Central.
"This win means a lot for our kids and the players who have played here at Grayslake North the past five years and haven't had a chance to beat (Grayslake Central) before," said Grunloh.