Ilya Kadushin craved one last shot.
Instead, his Grant teammates did the proper thing and chose to hold the basketball in the final seconds of their 73-61 win over visiting Lakes on Saturday night, thus paying no attention to Kadushin, who was wide open on the baseline with a clear path to the basket.
His cherry-pick would have been the cherry on top of the sundae.
"In my head, I was like, 'If they pass me the ball, I'm going to dunk it,' " the 6-foot-5 Kadushin said with a laugh. "So I just hung on the rim (after the final buzzer)."
Kadushin had done enough, and so had his teammates. Sean Wells had a game-high 21 points, 5 steals and 4 assists, and Kadushin scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as Grant finished off an especially satisfying weekend sweep of its two North Suburban Prairie Division opponents, while also avenging a 26-point loss at Lakes on Jan. 7.
"That's all I really wanted this weekend," Kadushin said after Grant (17-7, 7-4) won for the 13th time in 16 games and stretch its winning streak to four.
Five weeks ago, Grant was stinging from a reverse weekend against the same two teams. The Bulldogs lost a squeaker to Vernon Hills, before getting blown out by Lakes.
"Back-to-back wins, and a month ago it was back-to-back losses, so it was good revenge," said Wells, Friday night's hero at Vernon Hills with a buzzer-beating shot.
"We can live with that," a smiling Grant coach Wayne Bosworth said.
Lakes (15-9, 8-3) played without starting point guard Jay-Jay Elvir, who was wearing a protective boot after spraining his right ankle in gym class during the week.
Tanner Blain produced his second 20-point effort in three games, leading the Eagles with an even 20, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Blain, who had 22 points against Carmel the previous week, hit a pair of 3-pointers while shooting 6 of 7 from the floor in the fourth.
Looking to reverse the fortunes that fell them the last time they played at Grant, when they blew a 22-point lead with nine minutes left and lost in the title game of Grant's holiday tournament, the Eagles cut a 12-point fourth-quarter margin to 7. They could have gotten even closer if not for missing 3 free throws in a 54-second span.
"We just continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with those free throws," said Lakes coach Chris Snyder, whose Eagles shot 9 of 17 from the line for the game. "It's something that's kind of been a theme at the free-throw line."
Grant forward Jared Helmich (14 points, 9 rebounds) put back a teammate's missed free throw with 1:16 left, extending the Bulldogs' lead to 70-61 and all but sealing victory for the hosts.
"When our lead started dwindling, we knew we had to stay calm because every time (Lakes) would come back it was because of our turnovers," Wells said. "We had to stay calm, and that's what we did."
Kadushin and Helmich each muscled their way to 4 rebounds in the fourth. Brandon Lombardino also secured a defensive board.
"(Lakes) could have gotten some putback, easy buckets there, and it might have been a closer game down the stretch," Bosworth said. "But I give our bigs credit down the stretch. They got the big rebounds."
Lakes also got 10 points apiece from its starting Justins Bergeron and Schneider (5 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 drawn charges).
Wells' pull-up jumper in the lane and his steal and layup in the closing seconds of the first half had Grant up 34-30. Lakes never caught the Bulldogs after that.
"They're playing well, and we just didn't have that consistency tonight to really just get over that hump," Snyder said. "We didn't get that rhythm going at any point and just didn't adapt to the pressure that (Grant) had."