Grayslake Central drops supersectional heartbreaker to St. Ignatius in double OT

Owen Kyhl's point total through four quarters and the first overtime of Monday night's Class 3A Hoffman Estates boys basketball supersectional was the same as his coach's.


But the St. Ignatius senior guard came up super big late, scoring all 6 of his points - including a jump-starting 3-pointer at 2:56 of the second extra session - in the Wolfpack's 67-60 double-overtime defeat of Grayslake Central's Rams.

"We got a stop. We transitioned well," Kyhl said. "I'm confident in our transition 'three' game."

St. Ignatius coach Matt Monroe did achieve a game-high total at NOW Arena, though it had nothing to do with hoops.

"Added 10 more gray hairs tonight," cracked the coach, who guided the Wolfpack to a third-place finish at last year's Class 3A state tournament.

Grayslake Central (29-6) was the better team, clearly, for three and a half quarters Monday night, leading 33-22 at the break, 47-41 after three quarters and 49-41 in the fourth minute of the final frame.

The Rams - coming off their first sectional championship in program history on March 3 - committed a scant two turnovers and got at least 2 points from seven players in the first 16 minutes.

"We share the ball, and we're unselfish," GC coach Brian Centella said. "That gave (St. Ignatius) some problems."

Rams senior forward Jake Gibson was a 6-foot-6 problem for the bulk of the night for the Wolfpack (24-11). He poured in a game-high-tying 19 points to go with 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Teammate Sam Cooper, a 6-2 guard, scored all 14 of his points after the first quarter, including a clutch trey that gave the Rams a 52-50 advantage with 2:09 left in regulation.

Wolfpack senior Richard Barron (19 points) answered with a field goal 26 seconds later, knotting it at 52-52 - the score after 32 minutes.

Both squads tallied 4 points in the first OT, none in the final 2:07.

Kyhl's pivotal 3-pointer ignited an 8-0 spurt at the start of the second OT.

GC turned the ball over 7 times in the second OT.

"We went away from what we were doing well in the first three and a half quarters," GC senior guard Dennis Estepp (6 points) said.

"They sped up late in the game, turned up the pressure," Gibson said. "We then started to play their game."

Wolfpack sophomore guard Phoenix Gill rose to the occasion atop the home floor of the Windy City Bulls, tallying 17 points and pulling down 7 boards. The son of former Illinois star and NBA player Kendall Gill nailed a 3-pointer in the second OT to put his club up 64-59 with 49 ticks left.

Senior big man Sean Clavadetscher added 14 points for the victors, who lost three players to season-ending injuries during an up-and-down regular season.

Rams senior guard Michael Monahan (6 rebounds) - a hardworking, lunch-pail hoopster with a deft shooting touch (a rare combo) - scored GC's first 6 points of the night, all coming from three-point hardwood. Classmate Kai Taylor and junior reserve Jayden Hall finished with 8 and 5 points, respectively.

"Credit St. Ignatius," said Centella, the Rams' fourth-year coach. "That team played well after halftime, pressured us well. It got really physical there at the end."

His 2022-23 team, in a nutshell?

"Special," Centella said. "Very special. Had we lost in our playoff opener, I would have been as proud of them then as I am of them now.

"I loved coaching this team. I enjoyed every second of our season."

St. Ignatius will face Simeon - Friday night's Chicago (UIC) supersectional champion - in a Class 3A state semifinal Friday at 10 a.m. at State Farm Center in Champaign.

St. Ignatius edged Simeon 61-59 for the third-place state trophy in Class 3A last March.

"I'm ready to go down there and compete," Gill said of where his father competed for the Illini.

Gill wears the same jersey number, 13, as his father wore for Illinois from 1986-1990.

  Grayslake Central's Jayden Hall is fouled by St. Ignatius' Sam Hornkamp in the Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional boys basketball game at the Now Arena. John Starks/
  Grayslake Central's Jake Gibson straggles to find a teammate after colliding with St. Ignatius' players Richard Barron, Sean Clavadetcher and Sam Horenkamp, foreground, in the Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional boys basketball game at the Now Arena. Jake Gibson John Starks/
  Grayslake Central's Jack Gerbasi, left, and Jayden Hall chase a loose ball with St. Ignatius' Richard Barron in the Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional Monday at Now Arena. John Starks/
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