After three straight victories to begin the season, Grayslake North's girls basketball team won't be sneaking up on teams much longer.
But it certainly did so with some success on Wednesday.
Jordyn Bowen, one of the Knights' guards, led an opportunistic defense as Grayslake North topped Carmel Catholic 41-28 in Mundelein's Turkey Tournament.
"In practice, we do work on it a lot," said Bowen of the defensive effort.
She finished with 5 points and had 3 timely steals.
"We just 'D' up harder to make our other guards better," Bowen said. "It makes us push harder in games. Getting steals puts a lot of pressure on the other team's guards. We always want to the read the pass and track on the ball coming to the middle."
Emily Dugan led the Knights (3-0) with 12 points off the bench. Brittney Thibeaux added 11 points, 6 blocked shots and 5 rebounds.
"The biggest thing is the depth that we have," Grayslake North coach Nate Flannery said. "It's no let-up with our sixth, seventh and eighth players. They give us a spark and they give other people some rest."
The Knights jumped out to a 12-6 lead over the Corsairs (1-2) as Thibeaux dropped in 8 points in the first quarter.
Carmel got within 12-10 on Kathleen Felicelli's short-jumper with 6:47 left in the second quarter.
But Grayslake North went on an 11-5 run and Dugan dropped in a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to put the Knights ahead 23-15 at the break.
"It all came down to some good effort," Dugan said. "It's all on the timing on the passes and getting help from my teammates. I do shoot a lot of 3's in practice."
Dugan contributed 5 more points, including another trey that capped a 12-5 run in the third and increased the Knights' lead to 35-20 heading into the fourth.
Carmel tried to recover in the last period but couldn't get the Grayslake North lead under double digits.
Cassidy Kloss led the Corsairs with 12 points.
"We just had a couple of bad possessions on offense, and it snowballed on us," Carmel coach Kelly Perz said. "When things aren't going your way ... We had so many tipped balls that we didn't get. It wasn't one of our best games as a team.
"The good news is, we'll get a day off (Thursday), get back into the gym and get ready for Friday and Saturday."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.