The Rams didn’t earn many style points in the second half Thursday, but Grayslake Central (13-8 overall, 9-0 division) scored enough to fend off pesky Woodstock North in OT and clinch a share of the Fox Valley Fox title. It was the eighth win in nine games for the Rams (the loss was by five points to Class 4A powerhouse Zion-Benton). The Thunder (7-17, 2-6) forced OT with a furious late rally, including a three-pointer at the buzzer by Leonel Ortiz.
THE TURNING POINT
With Grayslake up 71-68 and 19 seconds left in OT, Woodstock North missed two treys and a putback before the Rams’ Joey Mudd rebounded, was fouled and hit two free throws with seven seconds left to seal the win.
Grayslake’s Malcolm Reed had all 12 of his points after halftime. He was 5-of-6 from the field at 4-of-4 at the stripe after the break.
BY THE NUMBERS
This is the fourth division title in seven years for the Rams. Central led by as many as 16 in the first half. Michael Benko had 15 points, Sam Ruhlmann 12, and Charlie Anderson and David Llorens 10 each. For North, Nikolaus Herscha had 16 points and Ortiz 13. Central was 27-of-57 from the field, including 2-of-9 from distance. Woodstock was 26-of-63 shooting, 5-of-14 from behind the arc. Rebounding was even.
“We came out at the beginning of the season to win conference and win another regional. We didn’t get either last year. So our mindset right now is to win on Saturday [against Waukegan] and come out on Tuesday against our rival [Grayslake North] to win the division [outright].” — Reed