Schubert’s late 3 sends Grant past Wauconda in NLCC tussle

Will Schubert enjoys the corners of Grant’s compact and loud old gym in Fox Lake.

The senior’s fifth 3-pointer with 22 seconds left from the right corner broke a tie in a raucous and intense Northern Lake County Conference boys basketball matchup with Wauconda. That also set up a homecourt storm by the student section after Grant’s 57-52 victory Friday night.

“We like this gym better so coach (and Grant graduate Wayne Bosworth) decided to go here,” Schubert said after shooting 5-for-7 behind the arc for his 15 points. “It’s a lot louder and there were times I couldn’t hear myself.”

Wauconda (5-2, 3-1) contributed to the deafening atmosphere by battling back from a 42-33 third-quarter deficit even though Mercer-bound senior and 25-point averager Braeden Carlsen (13 points on 5-for-11 shooting) fouled out with 4:47 to play on his third offensive foul. Colton McLennan (11 points) hit 2 free throws to tie it at 52-52 with 43 seconds left.

“We battled, our bench battled and we never quit,” said Wauconda coach Ty Weidner after his team was on the NLCC road again 24 hours after an NLCC road win at Lakes.

Grant (6-5, 3-1) had only one timeout left so Bosworth opted to leave the final seconds in his players’ hands. Junior Braylon Gray, who was also saddled with foul trouble, found Schubert for his fourth corner 3 of the second half.

“Schubert had a fantastic game,” Weidner said.

“It was just there because of the defense they run,” Schubert said of Wauconda’s matchup zone. “We just wanted to move it around and see what we can get. I had been hitting all night so I was confident putting it up. It felt good and I made it.”

Wauconda missed a drive to cut the deficit to a point and junior Landon Enters (10 points) sealed it for Grant with 2 free throws with six seconds left. Junior Joshua Cox came off the bench for 12 points and the biggest of his 7 rebounds and his team’s 28-17 advantage led to his short jumper in the lane for a 51-48 lead at 1:23.

Senior Pryde Mendoza added 9 points for Grant team that lost to two of the top teams in the state in Warren and Mt. Carmel. Last year it lost 11 games by single digits and seven by 5 points or less.

“That’s a good ballclub and one of the favorites to win the conference,” Bosworth said of Wauconda. “They have a lot of great players over there and I’m proud of our guys. They really stepped up and grew up.”

Senior guard Cayden Mudd came off the bench midway through the first quarter after Weidner said he was late to a shootaround and led Wauconda with 15 points. Mudd’s short driving jumper got his team within 51-50 with 59 seconds to play.

And that helped pump up the volume for the dramatic finish.

“This environment was great,” Weidner said.

“Last year we tried it out and they fixed the sound system so we moved into here permanently,” Bosworth said of the switch from the school’s big fieldhouse. “It’s like a mini-Cameron Indoor Stadium (Duke homecourt). It’s a fun environment.”

Wauconda’s Braeden Carlsen, right, drives to the basket against Grant’s William Schubert on Friday December 15, 2023 in Fox Lake. (Joe Lewnard/
Grant’s William Schubert, left, celebrates with his teammates after hitting a shot at the end of the first half to give the Bulldogs a 23-22 lead over Wauconda on Friday December 15, 2023 in Fox Lake. (Joe Lewnard/
Grant’s Pryde Mendoza, left, takes the ball from Wauconda’s Tyler Tylka Friday December 15, 2023 in Fox Lake. (Joe Lewnard/
Wauconda’s Cayden Mudd drives to the basket between Grant’s Landon Enters, left, and Pryde Mendoza on Friday December 15, 2023 in Fox Lake. (Joe Lewnard/
Grant’s Ayden Sheppard, left, grabs a rebound in front of Wauconda’s Cayden Mudd on Friday December 15, 2023 in Fox Lake. (Joe Lewnard/
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