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Hampshire's Ryan Cork passes the ball to a teammate during Saturday afternoon's game at Grayslake North. | Michael R. Schmidt ~ For Sun-Times Media
Hampshire hasn’t hit many bumps in the road this season, and the Whip-Purs weren’t about to be knocked off course by a shaky start Saturday.
Despite falling behind by 10 points in the first quarter, Hampshire had no trouble righting the ship and blasting past host Grayslake North for a 76-57 Fox Valley Fox win.
Tyler Crater poured in a game-high 27 points and Ryan Cork added 20 points and four assists as the Whip-Purs (19-4, 7-2) posted their highest scoring output of the season behind a blistering 25-for-47 shooting effort from the field.
“Once we get in that flow and we’re working well in transition, that’s hard to stop,” Crater said. “With Ryan and his court vision, I know I just have to get down the floor and he’ll get me the ball.”
Grayslake North (13-10, 3-6) drained three three-pointers in the first three minutes and led 16-6 before Hampshire coach Bob Barnett called timeout with 3:33 left in the first quarter.
The Whip-Purs addressed some defensive breakdowns during the break in the action and clawed to within 20-14 by the end of the period. They then blew past the Knights and took the lead for good with a 13-2 run to start the second quarter.
The onslaught continued in the second half as Hampshire turned a 33-29 halftime lead into a commanding 57-42 advantage going into the fourth. Crater accounted for 11 of his team’s 24 points in the third quarter and hit a contested three-pointer in the final seconds.
“I think we just woke up and decided we wanted to play some defense,” Cork said of the turnaround. “We started pushing the ball more, and that helped in the second quarter because we got a lot of easy layups and fast-break points.”
Brendan Waterworth chipped in with 10 points and Shane Hernandez added seven points and seven rebounds for Hampshire, which won for the seventh time in eight games and completed the season sweep of Grayslake North.
The Knights were paced by A.J. Fish’s 22 points. Danny Mateling added 13 points and Nick Carmody had 11 points and four assists.
“(Hampshire) scoring offensively really affects us because it takes us out of transition,” Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh said. “It kind of gives us the mentality that we have to score, and rather than working as a unit you kind of force things. A couple forced shots later, you go from being down two or three to being down 12.”
HAMPSHIRE 76, GRAYSLAKE NORTH 57
Hampshire (19-4, 7-2)
Crater 8, 8-8 27, Cork 8 4-6 20, Waterworth 4 0-0 10, Hernandez 2 3-4 7, Bridges 0 4-4 4, Dumoulin 2 0-0 4, Tuttle 0 2-2 2, Barnas 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 21-24 76.
Grayslake North (13-10, 3-6)
Fish 5 11-13 22, Mateling 5 0-0 13, Carmody 4 0-0 11, Einloth 1 3-3 5, Windield 2 0-0 4, Taskovic 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 14-16 57.
Hampshire 14 19 24 19 -- 76
Grayslake North 20 9 13 15 -- 57
Three-point goals -- Hampshire: 5 (Crater 3, Waterworth 2). GN: 7 (Carmody 3, Mateling 3, Fish). Fouled out -- None.