Friday afternoon, the Grayslake Central Rams hosted the Barrington Broncos in a key
tournament game. Two highly elite players featured this game as Lake County honorable
mentions Xavi Grandville(GCR) took on the elite scoring Oliver Gray(Barrington Broncos). The 2023-2024 boys varsity basketball season kicked off just last week and it has been nothing short of exciting and intense, with teams trying to establish a good start to their respective seasons.
This specific matchup of these two teams did not disappoint with keeping that same energy
Friday afternoon. Grandville, who put on an elite class of inside scoring, came up huge for the Rams as he finished the game with 19 points, 2 steals, 3 rebounds and 1 monster block in his home debut at the beautiful Grayslake Central Fieldhouse, in Grayslake IL. His all-important, key matchup, Oliver Gray, finished the game with just 11 points, 2 steals, and 2 rebounds. Grandville, and the Rams, did a great job maintaining Gray by throwing multiple defenders his way and making it difficult for Gray to get to his scoring spots. Early on in the first quarter of this intense matchup between these two teams, Grayslake came out striking from behind the three to get an early lead while double teaming Oliver Gray and forcing him to shoot tuff shots and forcing him into a slow offensive start. Although Grayslake’s defensive strategy on keying in on Gray, the rams left a key sharpshooter open on multiple occasions. Barrington’s, Alec Schmidts, a 6’3 forward, who is a senior this year, finished the game with 21
points and knocked down five three pointers. He became a problem early on in the game for Grayslake.
As the second half kicked off. Grayslake found themselves down 8 points
before opening up the third quarter with an 8-2 run to bring the score back to a
tie. Grandville was a mastermind on both sides of the ball in the second half.
Grandville was able to force Oliver Gray into a shooting slump in the third
quarter. In a key possession, late in the third quarter, Grandville was able to use
his length and quick hands in order to get a steal from Gray, obtain possession
on the ball, and take it coast to coast and finish a layup over a trailing Gray. It
was a key turning point in the game.
The intensity picked up tremendously in the fourth quarter but Grayslake
was able to hold a tight lead before coming up big on defense towards the end of
the quarter. At the 28.5 marker of the fourth quarter, Oliver Gray was able to put
up a huge three point shot that went in and brought Barrington within one
possession. Barrington was able to get a crucial steal to regain possession of the
ball and set themselves up with a chance to tie the game. Oliver Gray, was able
to get a good look from the baseline but was not able to cash in the tying bucket
to force overtime. Grandville and the Rams was able to hold off Barrington in a
close one. The Grayslake Rams was 0-2 coming into this tuff match up against the
Barrington Broncos, but after battling through till the end, they managed to end
their two-game losing streak and come out on top.
I got a chance to interview Grandville after the game and asked him what was the mindset of the team coming into their home debut against a tuff team like Barrington. His response, “We didn’t want to take our third lost in a row at home, coach went over the scouting plan and really, we just needed to come out with intensity”. Simson Elite Media and I will continue to keep a close eye on both these ball clubs as the season progresses through the year. Check back here for more updates and write ups from the best of Lake County boys varsity basketball.