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Grayslake North's A.J. Fish (10) puts up a shot during the second quarter of Saturday evening's game against Woodstock North. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Junior Ortiz (team-high 15 points), a Woodstock North junior, hit 5-of-7 shots from the field, none bigger than his runner in the lane as time expired to give the Thunder a dramatic victory over the Knights. Four-year varsity player Steven Whiting (14 points) hit a three-pointer for the winners with 29 seconds left to tie it.
Tied 60-60 after Whiting’s three-pointer, Grayslake North (9-5) took a timeout with 19 seconds left, only to turn the ball over (dribbler bounced the ball off his leg and it went out of bounds). The Thunder (7-8) then took a timeout, inbounded and Ortiz drove into the lane and hit a runner at the buzzer for the win.
“It felt right drawing it up in the timeout and I was able to beat my man and drive to the basket, and luckily it went in.” — Ortiz
This was the Fox Valley Fox opener for both teams. Danny Mateling had 25 points for Grayslake, including 13 of the Knights’ final 20. A.J. Fish added 18. Grayslake trailed 48-38 with 1:30 left in the third quarter, but rallied behind Mateling to lead 60-57 late.