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Bulldogs kick it into high gear

Waukegan-12/22/12 Sat./Waukegan High School
#1 Jordan JohnsWaukegan with shot vs. Grayslake Central game actiSaturday.
| Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

Waukegan-12/22/12, Sat./Waukegan High School #1 Jordan Johnson, of Waukegan with the shot vs. Grayslake Central in game action Saturday. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 25, 2013 6:16AM

Host Waukegan went on a 29-4 run around the halftime break to turn a three-point deficit into a 52-30 lead and went on to beat Grayslake Central 78-57 on Saturday in a non-conference prep boys basketball game.

The Bulldogs (7-5) now head to Pontiac for tourney play and a Thursday game against St. Charles North. Starting center Jerome Davis, who did not play on Saturday, won’t be on the court next week either (coach’s decision).

Saturday’s star was senior high-flyer Devonte Taylor. He scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He had three dunks, hit 2-of-4 from behind the arc and was 12-of-20 shooting overall.

Jordan Johnson added 21 points and six assists.

“Last night (a 45-44 Central Suburban League South Division win over powerful Maine South) was a must-win game for us in the conference,” said Waukegan coach Ron Ashlaw. “We expended a ton of our preparation time this week and energy against Maine South, so we were a little sluggish to start tonight against a team that runs good stuff.

“They have a good motion offense and they executed against us early. Overall, I was pleased with the effort over three quarters. We got run-outs and we played fast. That’s what we want to do.”

The Rams (1-8) led 26-23 with 2:41 to go in the first half. Waukegan scored the final 12 points of the second quarter and 17 of the first 21 in the third quarter to break the game wide open.

“We started the game soft but we were able to turn it around and perform after a tough win against Maine South,” said Taylor. We needed the momentum boost.”

On the other side, Grayslake Central is rebuilding after winning 21, 21, 17 and 21 games in Brian Moe’s first four seasons as coach.

Jack Spicer led the Rams with 18 points, and Danny Reed had 16 points and seven assists.

“For 12 minutes, we controlled the tempo, we made shots, we were patient on offense, and defensively we made them work to get their shots,” Moe said. “Then we started taking some quick shots and missing, and they transitioned so quick, we weren’t getting back.

“Once that train gets rolling, it’s hard to slow it down.”

The Rams now head to Bloomington/Normal for the State Farm Classic, which begins on Wednesday.

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