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Visiting Grant used a 12-0 third-quarter run to get back into the game, and then closed the contest on a 10-2 scoring burst to defeat Antioch 52-47 on Friday in a North Suburban Prairie contest.
Grant (5-4, 1-2) will play at Vernon Hills tonight, while Antioch (1-7, 0-3) is playing at the same time at Round Lake.
Friday’s game turned for good after two free throws by Tyler Innis put the Sequoits up 45-42. Grant scored the next eight points, with Tom Blanchette’s bucket from the low post with 2:11 left putting Grant up for good at 46-45.
The score moved to 50-45 before Antioch’s Anthony Formella scored in the paint to make it 50-47 with 31 seconds left. The teams then traded turnovers before Grant’s Joe Sadauskas hit two free throws with 14 seconds left to complete the scoring.
“We’re a young and inexperienced team this year, but we’re getting the experience about as fast as you can get it,” said Grant coach Wayne Bosworth, whose team has played two overtime games and several other close contests this year. “We just have to hope we have a fast learning curve with this group and take advantage of these opportunities so that in January and February, we’re making better decisions down the stretch.”
For much of the game, it looked as though Antioch was going to prevail in the game between longtime rivals.
The Sequoits hit their first five shots of the game and led 13-0 after three minutes of play. The lead was 17-9 after one quarter and Antioch was still up 27-20 at halftime, even though it went 5-for-27 from the field after starting out 5-for-5.
Antioch actually stretched its lead to 31-22 with 5:32 left in the third quarter, but that’s when Grant asserted itself. The Bulldogs went on their 12-0 run to end the quarter to take a 35-33 lead into the final period.
“Whether it’s real and genuine or not, we’re trying to instill some confidence in what we’ve got,” Antioch coach Jim White said. “We have a lot of guys who are very green. Even our seniors haven’t played a lot of varsity ball. It’s hard to fake it, but they came out believing it tonight.
“Unfortunately, we’ve only been in two close games this year. Being in closes games is great experience, but we don’t have the reps and confidence to believe we’re going to pull out the win.”
White was happy with the way his team protected the ball against a scrappy Grant squad.
“Nine turnovers is about 10 below our average,” he said. “It makes the game fun. We have guys who can put it down if we can get them some open looks.”
Formella led Antioch in scoring with 14, and Tyler Innis and Anthony Marsiglio each had nine.
Grant got 15 points from Steve Dunning. Blanchette had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, Grant hit 10-of-14 free throws while Antioch was 5-of-13 in the same period.