Gibson sparks Grayslake Central over Bartlett

Jake Gibson saved his best effort for the fourth quarter.

Gibson scored 8 of his 15 points during the final 8 minutes of the game to lead Grayslake Central past Bartlett 69-65 in quarterfinal action of the Hinkle Holiday Classic Wednesday night at Jacobs High School in Algonquin.

Gibson added 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for the Rams (11-1), winners of 11 straight. The Rams advance to the semifinals to play Barrington Thursday at 6 p.m. The Hawks play in a consolation game at 3 p.m.

With the score tied at 55 after three quarters, Grayslake started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run. Gibson scored 6 of the 8 points during the run. The Rams led 63-55 with 5:36 left in the game.

"The guys did a great job of looking for me," said Gibson. "I got the ball in great position to score."

Grayslake Central coach Brian Centella praised Gibson.

"We were able to spread out our shooters in the fourth quarter," said Centella. "Jake really responded with a great quarter."

The Hawks got to within 67-65 on a layup by Martin McCarthy with 42 seconds but couldn't get any closer.

Dennis Estepp, who missed six minutes in the second half with a cramp in his calf, scored all 19 of his points during the first three quarters.

"I drank a lot of water and knew I was going to come back in," said Estepp. "We have 10 seniors on this team and most of us have played together since sixth grade feeder."

Sam Cooper added 11 for the Rams.

"We have so much depth on this team," said Centella. "That separates us from a lot of teams. We have kids who don't play a lot who are good players."

Kelton McEwen led Bartlett (11-3) with 22 points while Nathan Scearce added 21.

"We had our chances," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "It was a physical game."

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