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Grant’s victory is quite a production
By Joe Aguilar | Daily Herald Staff

Wauconda’s Jessie Wood fights for an offensive rebound against Grant defender Kaylie Kanzler at Wauconda on Saturday.


George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Wauconda’s Becca Michelau, left, fights for a loose ball with Grant’s Michelle Filip at Wauconda on Saturday.


George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Wauconda’s Dani Sturm shoots over Grant defender Julia Sangster at Wauconda on Saturday.


George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

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Published: 12/1/2012 9:30 PM

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Female athletes invaded Wauconda High School on Saturday.

People flocked to watch.

And have a cup of cheer.

“I saw that and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ ” Grant senior Taylor Rossi said of the festive crowd. “I was so confused.”

While a local dance company put on a presentation of “The Nutcracker,” down the hallway, other fans took in a girls basketball game.

Grant’s fans had more reasons to cheer, as their athletes dominated host Wauconda, winning 58-34 in North Suburban Prairie Division action.

Talk about nuts.

Talk about holiday fun — for the visitors, anyway.

The victory evened Grant’s record at 4-4 (2-0 NSC Prairie), giving the squad a .500 record for the first time since Matt Lukemeyer became head coach last season. To boot, it also gave the Bulldogs a three-game winning streak for the first time since January of 2011.

Rossi wasn’t confused about those facts.

“We didn’t have a .500 (record) last year, and we just wanted to have one this year,” said Rossi, who scored 9 points. “That was our goal for today.”

“It’s a really good feeling,” said Lukemeyer, whose Bulldogs host Lake Forest Academy on Wednesday. “The girls have such a positive attitude. One of the things we’ve been talking about is getting to .500 and keeping our winning streak alive, and just playing good basketball.”

Grant got the job done against Wauconda (1-5, 0-2) by building a 6-0 lead in the opening two minutes on 3-pointers by Rossi and Tania Trbojevich (8 points), and the Bulldogs never relented.

By halftime, the visitors’ lead had stretched to 36-17, as their athleticism and aggressiveness prevented their opponent from running much offense.

“We’re so young and inexperienced that everything has got to be a learning experience,” Wauconda coach Jaime Dennis said.

Kaylie Kanzler drained a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter for Grant, and the junior finished with 12 points.

Kaitlyn Wold scored all of Grant’s 9 fourth-quarter points. The 5-4 junior finished with a game- and career-high 15 points, including a 3-pointer and several layups in transition.

“Whenever we get a rebound, she loves to sprint down the court,” Lukemeyer said. “She’ll leak out, and people know to get her the ball. She’s fast, and a pesky little guard.”

Nine of Grant’s 14 players scored.

“Sometimes it’s tough on me because we do have a lot of girls that are on the bench that can come in and do a great job for us,” Lukemeyer said. “One of our goals is to try to work in 10-11 girls and then if we can, like today, get everybody in.”

“I’m just very proud of my team and how we’ve been working together,” Rossi said. “We have a lot of girls that work together. People are coming off the bench and contributing (the effort) that we need.”

Lauren Nee led Wauconda with 10 points, hitting the Bulldogs’ lone two 3-pointers.

“She’s really done a lot of for us — handling the ball and getting us shooting opportunities,” Dennis said. “She’s probably our best defender.”