A little bit of a halftime pep talk was all Libertyville needed to get back on track in the Wildcats opening-round contest against Highland Park at the Mundelein Mustang Holiday Classic Tournament on Monday.
Trailing 24-22 at half, the Wildcats proceeded to hold Highland Park scoreless for more than 14 of the 16 minutes in the second half en route to a 54-37 triumph. The win was the fifth in a row for Libertyville (6-6), which faces Grayslake North in Round 2 at 5 p.m. Thursday. Highland Park will face Streamwood at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
"It was really up to the girls at halftime if they were going to come out with a different mindset," said Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen. "The team really did step up and I am really proud of how they responded."
Highland Park (4-8) scored just 4 points in the final quarter as the Wildcats used a 12-0 run to get the lead. A layup from Sydney Mudd (4 points) gave Libertyville the lead for good late in the third quarter. Then a steal and layup by Mary Wilterdink helped secure the win for Libertyville. Wilterdink led the Wildcats with 13 points. Becky Diechl added 10. Sarah Glazer led all scorers for the Giants with 14.
Grayslake North 54, Streamwood 32: Grayslake North coach Nate Flannery had a message for his Lady Knights early in the first quarter of their contest with Streamwood at the Mundelein Mustang Holiday Classic Tournament.
"I told them that we can't keep calling and wasting early timeouts every time we get in trouble," Flannery said. "We are slowly starting to work our way out of these early problems."
The Knights went to work late in the second quarter, then seemed to find a higher gear in the third and fourth quarters as they rolled by the Sabres 54-32.
Grayslake North (6-5) will face Libertyville at 5p.m. Thursday, while Streamwood will take on Highland Park in the consolation bracket the same day at 10:30 a.m.
"We have a real loose group, and I am OK with that," Flannnery said. "For whatever reason, we come out flat and it has cost us early in the season. It's good they are learning from that now."
Two Knights that the Sabres had no answer for were seniors Kendall Detweiler and Brittany Thibeaux. Detweiler scored 12 of her 16 points in the first half while Thibeaux 10 of her game-high 20 in the third quarter as Grayslake North outscored Streamwood 18-3.
Streamwood (3-6) was led by Winona State-bound senior Hannah McGlone. Her 11 first-quarter points helped the Sabres to an 11-8 lead after the first period.
Mundelein 71, Lake Park 66: Scoring hasn't been much of an issue for Mundelein so far this season -- Lake Park, too, for that matter. And the host Mustangs and the Lancers did their fair share of putting the ball in the basket in an opening-round game of the Mundelein Mustang Holiday Classic Tournament.
In the end, the balance of the Mundelein offense was too much as the hosts hung on for the 71-66 win.
Mundelein (7-5) will take on Niles West, a 51-41 winner over Cary Grove, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Lake Park (3-8) will face Cary Grove at noon Thursday.
"We have been in a few games like this so far this season," Lake Park coach Brian Rupp said. "We dig ourselves a hole and we can score. But if we can't stop the other team then we aren't going to win many of these."
The Mustangs built a 45-34 lead midway through the third quarter only to see the Lancers close the quarter with an 11-0 run to knot the game at 45-45. Lake Park tied the game two more times in the final minutes thanks to the long-range scoring by junior Emily Duckhorn. Her 6 three-pointers led to a game-high 22 points.
Freshman Jakeiya Morgan chipped in with 10 for the Lancers.
Mundelein, who also had its issues on the defensive end, got a balanced scoring effort that saw five players hit double figures. Junior Natalie Busscher led the Mustangs with 17. Junior Jamie Hemmer chipped in with 15. Lauren rouse and Maggie Mahar had 12 a piece and Maria DeVito added 10.
Mundelein closed the game on a 9-4 run to seal the win.