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Libertyville's girls basketball team sure picked the right time of the season for a lengthy winning streak.
The string has reached six after Monday's Class 4A regional play-in game, as No. 13 seed Libertyville topped No. 17 Wheeling, the regional host, 52-47.
Libertyville's Dana Kym pulled down 12 of her 14 rebounds in second half, including one with 30 seconds remaining after Wheeling attempted a 3-pointer.
Kym was fouled on the play and made 2 free throws that gave Libertyville a 50-43 lead.
"I was just going for the ball and I knew we needed to get the rebound on that play," said Kym, who also had 10 points. "We've been working on free throws all season. It's very important for us to make free throws. I knew I had to make them, and I put my mind to it.
"In the second half, I wanted to work as hard as I could."
Libertyville (15-13), which lost to Wheeling in the regional semifinal last year, advances to face No. 4 seed Palatine at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Wheeling.
Wheeling wraps up its season at 7-21.
"This was a completely different team, almost all new players and a new coaching staff," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "We didn't even talk about last year.
"We knew that we were going to have a tough matchup. Wheeling didn't deserve to be a 17th seed. They were better than that and showed it."
Olivia Mayer led Libertyville in scoring with 14 points and also had 5 rebounds.
"It was a big win for us, a culmination of how far we've come," Pederson said. "We can't wait to play the next game. There's no rest for the weary."
Libertyville's Rosie Lynch scored 5 of her 9 points in the third quarter. Her team led 25-23 at the break before going on a 15-8 spurt to grab a 40-31 lead going into the final quarter.
Wheeling's Deanna Kuzmanic (14 points) hit a trey to start the fourth quarter.
"I thought we fought really hard and it was difficult all season," Kuzmanic said. "We've been up and down all season. We played with our best effort."
Wheeling trimmed the Libertyville lead to 48-43 after Theresa Godlewski (8 points) made 2 free throws with 1:42 remaining.
"All season, we've been battling in a lot of games and have been close, within 10 points," Wheeling coach Julissa Hernandez said. "We battle down to the last two minutes like this one, and unfortunately it didn't go our way. We just made some mental mistakes at the end.
"We did get some looks that we wanted, but they didn't fall."
Brie Majkowski added 11 points and 6 rebounds and Hannah Dobrowski chipped in with 8 for Wheeling.