GRAYSLAKE – Woodstock knew what the problem was most of the afternoon against Grayslake North: a lack of energy.
The Blue Streaks too often were a step behind North. There were some moments of inspired play as Woodstock pulled within a point in the final minute, but the Streaks could not score in the final 2:25.
North, behind 9 of 10 free-throw shooting, sealed the outcome at the line for a 49-43 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division boys basketball victory Saturday.
“I thought we played badly,” Woodstock coach Alex Baker said. “We just didn’t have the energy through the whole game. It seemed like they got every 50/50 ball that was out there. It sure felt that way.”
The Streaks (8-11 overall, 3-2 FVC Fox) trailed the entire game, except for two ties late in the second quarter and early in the third, but had a shot for the lead in the final minute.
Damian Stoneking, Woodstock’s 6-foot-7 center, blocked a shot by the Knights’ Nate Dodge, then leaped over the out-of-bounds line and saved the ball to guard Alex Ferguson. Baker wanted to take only a layup and otherwise play for the final shot, but the Streaks turned the ball over.
“Coach Baker prepared us very well for what we were going to see, we just didn’t come out with any energy,” Ferguson said. “We made a good run at the end, we just didn’t execute again.”
North’s Matt Taskovic made two free throws after the turnover for a 46-43 lead with 48 seconds remaining. Woodstock guard Mitch Kohley had a look from the left baseline, but his shot didn’t fall. The Knights (7-13, 5-3) added three more free throws.
Stoneking and forward Mason Sutter led Woodstock with 12 points each, while Ferguson added nine. The loss dropped Woodstock two games behind division-leading Grayslake Central in the loss column.
“It was close, but overall it was our lack of energy,” Sutter said. “We executed some things well but I don’t think we every got into the game like we could have. We have to find a way to get pumped up in the locker room beforehand and come out strong each game.”
North’s Lucas Buckels led all players with 13 points, while Aidan Einloth scored 11 and Dom DiProva scored 10.
“We played well as a team, worked it around and had multiple people in double digits,” Einloth said. “It was just a whole team effort offensively and defensively.”