Boys basketball prepares for Regionals

The boys basketball team traveled to Washington, Illinois, to compete in the January tournament and prepare for future Regional competition in March.

Although the team finished 0-4 in the tournament, they played exceptionally well considering the opponents they were facing.

“We knew going in that the tournament would be the most difficult competition that we had seen all season,” boys head coach Todd Grunloh said. “We had the opportunity to compete against some of the best basketball schools in the Peoria area, which is about as good as it gets for basketball.”

They faced off against teams across Illinois, including Washington, Peoria Notre Dame, Alton, and IVC, with Aidan Einloth (18 points vs. Washington ), Bobby Krebs (17 points vs. Peoria Notre Dame), and Dom DiProva (Career high 20 points vs. Alton), leading the team in scoring.

“Personally I try to play every game so that after the game I have no regrets on how I played,” sophomore Aidan Einloth said.

The tournament served as a great preparation for Regionals and experience for the team.

“The tournament was a great experience for our team, facing new competition and bonding as a team,” Einloth said.

Assistant coach Tim Hough hopes the tournament will prepare them for future trips and competition.

“It was our first time taking a trip, so we mostly wanted the experience.  Hopefully the players will learn what it takes to enjoy the trip, but also be able to perform well enough to get a win,” Hough said.

Grunloh believes the tournament was especially good experience for the younger players on the team and good for the future of the program.

“Sophomores provided a great deal of our scoring, which is great for the future of our program as this will only make them stronger players,” Grunloh said.

Traveling is always difficult for teams, and these road games were no different. Although there were some weather difficulties, the team stayed focused throughout the trip.

“The only difficult part of this trip was the weather, which wasn’t great weather to drive in.  Keeping the players focused wasn’t really an issue either because our kids understood the level of competition that we would be up against,” Grunloh said.

With different courts, different fans, and different conditions, it’s no surprise playing games on the road is more difficult.

“Road games are harder because you are in an unfamiliar place and have to overcome the other teams’ super fans. For example, Washington High School had the biggest and loudest super fan section we have to deal with all year,” Einloth stated.

This was the first year Grayslake North competed in the Washington tournament, but plans for next year’s tournament have already been scheduled for both boys and girls basketball teams.