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Count on Ellis Matthews lacing up his neon-orange high-tops and scoring plenty of points.
What Libertyville basketball fans don't want to get accustomed to seeing is the senior guard filling up the basket while his team struggles to find consistency at either end of the court.
Matthews equaled his career high with 28 points Wednesday night in the Wheeling Wildcat Hardwood Classic, but, like the last time he produced that offensive output, it came in a loss. Even brighter than his sneakers were Notre Dame's shooters.
Quinton Chievous matched Matthews' 28 points, three of his teammates also scored in double figures and the Dons shot 58 percent (33 of 57), as Notre Dame ran away from Libertyville 85-65 in a semifinal of the four-day tournament.
"Everyone was being real unselfish and just giving the ball up," Chievous said. "We all hit shots."
"They were really good early on and we just didn't execute our defensive game plan," Wildcats coach Scott Bogumil said. "We left their shooters open and we knew where they were. We guarded the ball screen the wrong way. It was mental, and they really made us pay for it."
Notre Dame bolted to a 25-14 lead after one quarter, with Chievous pouring in 10 points. By halftime, the Dons were still on pace to score 100 points, as they led 51-33.
"We had to play how we didn't want to play to try to get back in it," Bogumil said. "You don't want to up tempo with them because they're so good athletically. They don't really run a whole lot of offensive sets. They just rely on getting down the floor."
Matthews, who shot 11 of 19 from the floor (2 of 5 from beyond the arc) and 4 of 4 from the stripe, also scored 28 points in Libertyville's 64-62, overtime loss to Zion-Benton on Dec. 11.
"When he scores 28, we don't win," Bogumil said with a grin.
Notre Dame improved to 12-1 and 3-0 at Wheeling, advancing to today's 8:45 p.m. championship game against Niles North.
"They were a good team, and we knew that from the start of the game," Matthews said of the Dons. "We just had to come in here and play our game, but defensive-wise, we got to pick it up. That was one of our poorer defensive efforts. We've played defense so well the whole season."
Libertyville (7-5, 2-1), which will play Lake Park at 7:15 p.m. today in the third-place game, has had quarters this season against Stevenson and Lane Tech when it pitched a shutout. So the Wildcats' lack of defense even against a great team like Notre Dame was surprising.
The Dons also got 19 points and 7 rebounds from senior Rodney Pryor, 15 points from senior Ryan Tompkins and 11 off the bench from Joe Ferrici. Both Pryor and Tompkins knocked down three 3-pointers.
At halftime, Chievous (17 points), Pryor (15) and Tompkins (11) had all scored in double figures.
"We just have a lot of options," said the 6-foot-5 Chievous, who also had 8 rebounds and a two-handed dunk. "When we all score in double digits, it's pretty unstoppable. We usually win."
Libertyville could get only as close as 14 points in the second half. Other than Matthews, the Wildcats had no one score in double figures. Landon Eyre and Joey Eichmann each had 8 points, as Libertyville saw its three-game winning streak snapped.
"We'll pick it up (today)," Matthews said. "We'll get the third-place plaque and we'll be good."