Rams basketball seals victory against Gators

Rams basketball won with one-point lead versus Gators


Photo provided by: Paul Gheremy Prowel

With all seasonal games being aired via Livestream, Rams up by three with 1.9s remaining on the game clock. The Gators called for a time-out after Whalen hit a long three-pointer. “We drew up a play that we’ve run before in practice and fortunately the play worked out exactly how we drew it up.” said coach Centella referring to their three-point play plan.

Paul Gheremy Prowel, Staff Reporter

The Grayslake Rams establish their  2-1 record after defeating the Crystal Lake South Gators in a close game with the score of 53-52 in the varsity boys basketball game held at Crystal Lake South High School on Feb. 13.

Rams forced their way to victory led by Zoel Martinez and Amarion Coleman by scoring 25 points in total with the help of Shawn Sharma’s seven points and Brendan Whalen’s three-pointers, contributing a total of eight points.

“I drive to the basket and get some layups to start us off. We all just played it slow and made safe shots. Coach called a play we usually do in practice, and I set a nice screen on Whalen’s man. Brendo hit that tough shot that won us the game,” said Martinez.

In the first quarter of the game, the Gators started the heat by firing a three-pointer which enabled them to take the lead. Coleman answered back with his long two-pointer jump shot from the defensive rebound and assist of Dennis Estepp, 3-2.

The Gators then stretched their lead by six points, but Martinez’s spin move lay-up and a strong finish in the paint, got fouled and then made the free-throw. This made the game a one-point lead again, 8-7. 

Before the time of the first quarter expired, Gators tried to bring up their lead more, but Sharma blocked the shot attempt, 13-11 Gators leading.

In the second quarter of the game, Gators noted their highest lead of the game through showering the Rams with their three-pointers, their aggressive plays inside the paint, and tough defense. Rams fought back with the lead of Coleman and Sharma’s three-pointers with the intent of recovering all the three-pointers made by the Gators, but they failed, 32-22 half-time score.

“Crystal Lake South is a good team. They’re well-coached and they have some good players. We just try to go out and execute our game plan, play as hard as we can, and together as we can,” said varsity boys basketball Coach Brian Centella.

At the start of the second half, the Rams began to unleash their true strength in the game. Martinez started off their first point in the second half by a put-back layup and was followed by Whalen’s three-pointer after a possession which cut the score to a five-point lead. Rams forcefully rammed their way to make Gator’s lead to one point by the end of the quarter, 39-38 in favor of the Gators.

In the last quarter of the game, both teams gave their all. The Gators welcomed the quarter with a three-pointer, and Sharma answered back right away with a layup, 42-40.

Nathan Ulrich forcefully made the Gators have a huge turnover by stealing the possession and assisted Coleman to convert the turnover into a score for the  Rams to take their first lead of the game with 2:15 remaining, 48-47. The Gators snatched back their lead with a three-pointer with five-tens of a second remaining, 50-48.

Ulrich scored a two-pointer from Sharma’s fast break to tie the score to all 50. The Gators tried to seal the game with a three-pointer, but they failed. Centella called for a time-out with 8.3s remaining. Whalen then launched a long three-pointer with two seconds remaining, 53-50. 

The Gators tried to make it to OT but made only two out of three free-throw shots after being fouled while the game time had already expired, 53-52–Rams won.