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It took Grayslake North a half to get rolling on Friday night.
But once the Knights stopped spinning their wheels and began moving forward, they cruised to a 72-57 victory over rival Grayslake Central in a Fox Valley Fox game.
The first two quarters was as even as it could get — ending at 30-30.
But after the break, it was all Grayslake North (12-7, 3-3).
The Knights went ahead 57-43 after three quarters and were by as much as 72-51 until the final minutes.
The only suspense down the stretch was whether North’s A.J. Fish would take game-scoring honors or if Central’s Danny Reed would prevail.
In the end, it was Reed (29 points) besting Fish by one point to lead the Rams (3-16, 1-6).
The point battle was a friendly one as Fish and Reed were teammates on hoops teams at St. Gilbert’s in Grayslake from fourth grade to eighth.
“This game is always one we look at on our schedule. We know they’re always going to come out and play hard, regardless of their record,” Fish. “We came out with a win. That’s what matters.
“We’ve lost a couple tough ones. If we can just get on a little roll, we can battle for a conference championship. That’s our goal right now.”
Nick Carmody added 15 points and Danny Mateling had 11 for the Knights (12-7, 3-3).
“At halftime, we talked about sharing the ball,” said North coach Todd Grunloh, “passing it up the court, less dribbling, and less one-on-one. Our kids responded really well.”
Fish had praise for Reed, his longtime teammate back in the day. Both are wing players.
“We knew he (Danny) is a great player,” Fish said. “Give him all the credit in the world. He played outstanding. We couldn’t stop him in the first half. In the second half, he missed some shots and we played well enough to win.”