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Grayslake North's Brittney Thibeaux shoots over Hampshire defenders Wednesday. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

With a sterling performance off the bench (21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from downtown), sophomore guard Emily Dugan showed Wednesday that she’s ready for gut-check time in the Grayslake North girls basketball season.

That makes her part of the solution. The problem is getting everyone else in a Knights uniform equally ready for next week’s Fox Valley Fox Division showdown with Grayslake Central, an FVC Championship Game against the Valley Division winner, and then the girls version of March Madness.

Against Hampshire on Wednesday, the Knights didn’t always look the part, though the final score — 68-50 ­— might’ve suggested otherwise.

North is now 23-2 overall and 10-0 in the division. Hampshire is 9-14 and 4-6.

“I loved it,” said North coach Nate Flannery of Dugan’s long-range bombing. “Brittany [Thiebeaux] still had her points (17). We’ve been so much of an inside team, and shooting from the perimeter has been an issue.

“Emily and Kendall [Detweiler] are both capable of doing that, and it prevents teams from packing it in inside against Brittany and Jo [Guhl] down low. For us to be able to do that is outstanding.”

For the game, the Knights were 12-of-20 from behind the arc compared to 4-of-17 for Hampshire.

“It’s been awhile. I haven’t been shooting very well,” said Dugan. “It’s good to be back hitting shots again. I saw it going it, and that gave me the confidence to keep shooting.”

Nevertheless, Grayslake North led 13-12 after one quarter and just 31-27 at halftime as turnovers rained down on both sides of the court.

The Knights broke the game open with a 19-3 run that started in the final minute of the fourth quarter at 41-36 and ended with 4:50 to go in the game at 60-39.

Dugan hit two threes in that stretch and Emily Stinner — another reserve — also bombed home a pair from long range.

North’s 23 wins already is a school record. “The girls deserve all the credit in the world,” said Flannery. “I’m happy for them. At the same time, we have other goals. It was a nice moment last night (a win over Waukegan that set the school record for wins). Now we move on and we’ll look to finish out the conference strong.”

Hampshire was led in scoring by Jen Dumoulin with 18 points, eight rebounds, four steals and four assists.

She’s the oldest of three sisters who start for Hampshire. There’s also a cousin with the same last name on the team.

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