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Lakes defeated Grayslake Central 72-54 on Wednesday night, advancing to the championship game of the Class 3A Vernon Hills Regional.
The Eagles (23-6), who notched a school-record 23rd win with their solid regional semifinal showing, will play either Wauconda or Vernon Hills on Friday in the finals. Grayslake Central finishes 4-23 on the season.
Lakes held control the entire game, leading 22-13 after one period and 32-17 late in the first half. The Eagles’ biggest lead reached 22 points in the third period. Grayslake Central pulled within 58-48 in the fourth quarter, but Lakes responded with 12-0 run to secure the victory.
Justin Bergeron led the Eagles with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Jake Kohler added 13 points and Andrew Spencer had 11 points.
Danny Reed closed out his Grayslake Central career with a 15-point night. Alex Lennartz chipped in 12 for Grayslake.
“It took awhile for us to get going, but I thought our guys did a good job in the third quarter,” said Lakes coach Chris Snyder. “I wanted to see our guys come out with some energy and intensity, and we finally did that in the third.”
Grayslake Central finished the second quarter with a pair of late buckets to move within 32-21.
“Justin really stepped up,” said Snyder. “I was glad to see that from one of our senior leaders. I think he just said ‘enough is enough’ and he hit a big ‘3’ in the third quarter and worked his butt off. It’s good to have guys like that at this time of year.”
Lakes, the No. 2 seed in the sectional, is expected to reach the finals at Antioch next week.
But first, there’s Friday’s game to win.
“We need to come a little more ready to play,” Snyder said, “and clean up some defensive things — some rotations — and things like that.”