2016-'17 Season Coverage
updated: 11/19/2016 8:45 PM

Libertyville holds on for win over Buffalo Grove

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By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

The Libertyville lead had reached as high as 13 points in the first half.

There were two seconds to play before the break, and Buffalo Grove senior Georgette Topalis had the ball in the BG backcourt.

She fired one up from about 45 feet. It swished. The Wildcats still led 30-22 but the momentum had seemed to stall on the Libertyville side.

Libertyville (1-1) has seen this long-distance shot before.

"It happened two days ago against Mother McAuley,'' said Libertyville senior Claire Keefe.

Well, that might be Libertyville's lone weakness -- defending the half-court shot.

Keefe had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds). Her senior teammate Caroline Frea pumped in a game-high 18 points and the Wildcats survived to post their first win, 55-53 over host Buffalo Grove on Saturday afternoon.

The Bison Classic has brought in eight teams for this tournament, which concludes on Nov. 26.

Keefe has signed to play the post next year at DePauw University in Indiana. Her final high school team has four seniors who by this time should know each other's moves pretty well.

"We have four seniors who have been together since the fifth grade,'' Frea said.

Keefe notes this Libertyville team also has a sprinkling of youth. The lone ninth-grader on the team is Lydia Crow, and she landed four 3-pointers on the way to 14 points.

"She came out firing today,'' said Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen. "We plan on using her a lot."

The Bison (1-1) have three freshmen on their roster, and two of them saw action Saturday as Macy Floro (6 points) and Kendra Lee (5 points) made contributions.

Libertyville made its move in the second quarter by going on an 8-0 run to open the quarter. The second of Crow's 3-pointers gave the Cats a 23-15 lead midway through the second quarter. This freshman added 5 consecutive points late in the quarter on another 3 and a layup.

In the meantime, Buffalo Grove senior Megan Gamber was scoreless at halftime but scored 17 points in the second half.

Frea also had a strong start for the Wildcats but was slowed by foul trouble. She had 8 of her points in that third quarter.

"My job is to score inside and rebound,'' Frea said. "We talked about finishing this game, and we did it."

Crow's fourth 3-pointer gave the Cats a comfortable 47-35 lead as the fourth quarter opened. And then the Bison stepped up. On a driving layup from Alyssa Floro (6 points), the Cats' lead was down to 51-48.

The two seniors answered for Libertyville. Frea made a steal and bucket and Keefe also tallied inside as the Cats' lead was 55-48 with less than two minutes to play.

"We really have good chemistry on this team,'' Keefe said.

Gamber landed a 3-pointer and Macy Floro scored to end the game just 2 points short for the Bison.

"This is a very difficult tournament,'' Pedersen said. "This was a very good Buffalo Grove team."

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