Right before the holiday break, Lakes Junior Direll Clark started to find his scoring touch.
After a 26-point effort in a wild double overtime loss to North Chicago, Clark showed not a single sign of rust following a 10-day layoff.
In opening-round play of Grant's holiday tournament, Clark led the Eagles again in scoring, but this time it came in a win. Clark scored 8 of his game-best 21 points in the third quarter to help the Eagles to a 62-56 win over Grayslake North.
The win avenges a 49-42 setback to the Knights 2 weeks ago.
"It really started with his game against North Chicago," said Lakes coach Chris Snyder. "Direll has the ability and he has the skill to be able to go out and perform like that each night."
Clark helped Lakes (7-5) break open a tight game in the third quarter. Just before the end of the third quarter, a steal from Andrew Spencer set up Clark for a layup. Then Clark came flying in from clear across the court to block a shot by the Knights' Ben Guhl. His subsequent rebound and feed to Tanner Blain gave the Eagles the lead for good at 43-39.
"I saw the play develop and I knew I had to get over and make a stop," Clark said. "I tried to get to the ball and make a play and it worked out."
Grayslake North (6-3) refused to go quietly and it was the play of senior Mark Hall that kept the Knights in the game. At one point in the final quarter, Hall scored 8 straight points for the Knights as part of his career-best 19-point night.
"When (Mark) made a 3 early, you could tell that he was going to shoot well tonight and he really carried us," said Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh. "Mark is a talented player and he can score for us in a number of ways."
The Knights closed to within 1 point twice in the final two minutes but could't grab the lead.
"Give credit to Lakes," Grunloh said of this time versus two weeks ago. "They did a great job of finding the open spots in our defense and making better decisions with the ball than last time."
Junior Justin Bergeron (13 points) and Senior Justin Schneider (11 points) were in double figures for the Eagles. Guhl (11 points) and Danny Mateling (13 points) paced the Knights.