Libertyville's burst of energy coincided with the sizzling shooting of freshman Lydia Crow.
Wildcats fans should get used to that.
"Being that she's young, her teammates think it's awesome when she scores," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "The most energizing thing that can happen for us is when Lydia scores because her teammates just love her."
Crow sank half of her four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and host Libertyville rallied to beat Grayslake Central 52-48 on Tuesday night in a game that was part of the Buffalo Grove Bison Classic. Claire Keefe led Libertyville (2-1) with a game-high 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Crow finished with 12 points.
Crow's first 3 of the fourth put Libertyville in front 43-41. Her second field goal from beyond the arc hiked the Wildcats' advantage to 48-44 with 5:38 to go.
"She's looking for her shot, and we're trying to find it for her," Pedersen said. "She plays with composure. That's really strong for a freshman.
A 5-foot-7 guard, Crow has been honing her shot and other basketball skills since the third grade. She looked unfazed in a tight fourth quarter.
"I was just trying to do my job and help out the team however I could," Crow said. "Just make good passes and smart decisions."
Grayslake Central (0-3) also has a freshman on its roster and, like Crow, 6-foot Kate Bullman played with poise. Before Crow's second 3-pointer in the fourth, Bullman hit one of her own.
She scored 5 of her 11 points in the fourth, while also recording 2 steals.
"She's making some nice contributions off the bench," Rams coach Steve Ikenn said. "Every time a freshman or a young kid goes out there and does well, it gives them confidence."
Another one of those young players for Grayslake Central, sophomore Rosie Drevline, sank a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter to help the Rams build a 16-6 lead. Crow's 3 early in the second capped a 10-0 run to pull Libertyville even at 16-16.
Grayslake Central took a 41-38 lead into the fourth, but the free-throw shooting of Keefe and junior point guard Morgan Manski proved huge for the Wildcats. Keefe was 4 of 6 from the line in the quarter (11 of 14 for the game), while Manski sank all 4 of her foul shots.
Manski finished with 9 points. Caroline Frea had 7 points and 15 rebounds for Libertyville, which plays Hersey at 1 p.m. Friday at Buffalo Grove.
Ania Barnes led Grayslake Central with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Amanda Larson added 9 points.
"I thought bought teams played really hard," Ikenn said. "Both teams got a little bit of lead. Both teams fought back.
"If we keep playing like that, we're going to be all right."