Boys Basketball: Grant erases 22-point deficit to beat LakesFox Lake Friday 12.30.11. Grayslake North's Danny Mateling (right) (22) battles Johnsburg's Mike Ward (left) (1) during their 2011 Grant Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament game on Friday, December 30, 2011, at Grant High School in Fox Lake. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 30, 2011 10:04PM
Host Grant outscored Lakes 32-7 in the final nine minutes to erase a 55-33 deficit and stun the Eagles 65-62 on Friday in the championship game of the Bulldogs’ holiday tournament.
Grant (9-4) scored the game’s last 14 points after trailing 62-51 with 3:47 left.
“I’ve never seen a game like this one,” said Wayne Bosworth, speaking for everyone in the big crowd on hand. “Our group of kids deserved to win. They showed the heart of champion.”
For much of the game, Grant looked second-best.
Lakes (9-6), led by Direll Clark (24 points), was up 32-24 at halftime, and the Eagles poured it on by scoring 23 of the first 32 third-quarter points.
But then, Grant caught fire behind the shooting of tourney MVP Jared Helmich, who scored (16 of his his game-high 27 points in the final period.
“I wasn’t losing that game. We never gave up and stuck with it,” said Helmich, a post player who went head-to-head with Lakes’ 6-8 Justin Schneider. “I was feeling it at the end. My jump-hook was working for me, and my teammates kept feeding me the ball.”
Grant took the lead 63-62 on a Helmich hook with 22 seconds left.
Justin Bergeron missed a layup for Lakes, Helmich was fouled on the rebound and converted both free throws with 13 seconds left.
Bergeron and Clark each missed three-pointers for the tie before the final buzzer.
Alan Lewis added 12 points for Grant. His three-ball with 55 seconds left cut Lakes’ lead to 62-61. And after a charging foul turned the ball back to Grant, Helmich did his thing and Grant wound up with the championship trophy.
Schneider made the all-tourney team for Lakes. For Grant, Sean Wells, Lewis, Ilya Kadushin and Helmich were honored.
In Friday’s consolation games, McHenry blasted Richmond 62-42 to finish third, Northridge Prep edged Round Lake 43-40 to take fifth, and Grayslake North topped Johnsburg 64-56 to finish seventh.
In Round Lake’s loss, Anthony Gutierrez had 15 points. Juddon Carter was the Panther named to the all-tourney team.
In Grayslake North’s win, Mark Hall had 15 points, A.J. Fish 13, Danny Mateling 12, Nick Carmody 11 and Zach Krupp 11. Hall was an all-tourney pick.