Lake Forest's physically tough and skilled Evan Boudreaux displayed a soft touch all night, except once.
Sorry, Ben Kimpler.
Early in the second half of Lake Forest's 59-49 win over visiting Libertyville on Saturday, the 6-foot-8 Boudreaux pursued a defensive rebound in the paint, swung his arm and accidentally popped Kimpler, the Wildcats' 6-6 sophomore, in the face.
"It always gets a little chippy with Libertyville," Boudreaux said. "We weren't trying to be dirty or anything. I wasn't trying to hurt the kid, but my arm accidentally hit him in the face. The ref came over and told us to knock it off, and I think it was pretty much done after that."
Boudreaux wasn't done delivering pain to the Wildcats. The Division I prospect poured in a career-high 39 points, hitting 13 shots, including two 3-pointers, and grabbed 15 rebounds.
"We just couldn't stop him," Libertyville's Jack Lipp said.
Likewise, Lake Forest (5-2, 2-1) couldn't shut down Lipp.
Boudreaux's night overshadowed an equally wonderful effort by Libertyville's senior guard, who scored a career-high 31 points. Lipp also drained 13 shots, including a pair of 3s.
"It was fun to watch," Wildcats coach Scott Bogumil said. "He scored in all different ways. He posted up, he slashed to the bucket, was shooting 3s, and he hit some long ones."
Lipp's offensive outburst was especially needed by Libertyville (5-2, 1-2) since the Wildcats played without leading scorer and rebounder Joe Borcia, who had to sit per IHSA rules after picking up two technical fouls against Stevenson last Wednesday. Bogumil said Borcia wound up needing dental work the following day after his top four teeth were knocked loose on a drive to the basket by Stevenson's Matthew Johnson.
Both Lipp and Boudreaux scored 17 points in an exhilarating fourth-quarter showdown.
"I was trying to do what I had to do to win the game," Lipp said. "Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Without Joe, who normally puts up 20-25 every night, I felt like I had to step up a little bit."
Libertyville had no answer in the paint for Boudreaux, although Bogumil credited the gritty work and energy put forth by Kimpler, whose rebound basket pulled the Wildcats briefly even at 25-25 with 5:27 left in the third.
"They didn't double (Boudreaux) as much as I thought they would, probably because the other night we hit some 3s (against Lake Zurich)," Lake Forest coach Phil LaScala said. "When you see that stuff, you got to respect it."
Boudreaux's sharp shooting from beyond the arc was no fluke, as he led the Scouts in three-point-shooting accuracy last season.
"We knew (Borcia) wasn't in there, but I think our game plan going into every game is to get it inside because we have a lot of height on our team," said Boudreaux, a junior who's received D-I offers from Boston College, Northwestern, Iowa, Iowa State, DePaul and St. Louis. "Tonight it worked out really well."
Lake Forest enjoyed a 43-34 lead after a post-up move by Boudreaux with 5:34 left in the fourth, but Lipp answered with a long 3-pointer. When Lipp drove, spun and swished a short jumper with 3:35 to go, Libertyville was within 45-41. Boudreaux then knocked down a 3 from the top of the key.
Steven Braun finished a layup off a dish from Lipp -- the Wildcats' only basket in the quarter not credited to Lipp -- with 55 seconds left to make it 52-47, but the visitors got no closer.
"He's a heck of a player," LaScala said of Lipp. "He's strong, he gets into your body, and they set a lot of good ball screens for him. He wore our guys down a little bit."
Conor Peterson added 8 points for Libertyville, which trailed 18-11 after one quarter and 23-18 at halftime. Five free throws by Boudreaux in the final minute helped secure the Scouts' win.
"I was proud of our kids," Bogumil said. "We said before the game we want to be within striking distance at the three-minute mark."