Fisher, Libertyville dump Prospect for regional title
Libertyville's Emily Fisher may want a tryout with the school's hockey team.
Fisher was like a goaltender Tuesday, keeping Prospect away from the basket and swatting shots away. And when the Knights missed a shot, Fisher was there to gobble up the rebound.
Fisher finished with 7 blocked shots and 16 rebounds to help lead the Wildcats past Prospect 51-35 in the Class 4A girls basketball regional final at Libertyville.
"Things weren't working for me early on offense," said Fisher, who scored 13 points, 9 of which came in the fourth quarter.
"The goal is then to play defense. I was doing what my team needed. Defense. That's what wins games."
Libertyville (23-10) will play the winner of Friday's Stevenson-Round Lake game next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Warren sectional. Stevenson is the top seed in the sectional.
The Wildcats used their length to keep Prospect (22-8) from attacking the basket with much success. Libertyville held Prospect to 22% (13-of-59) shooting from the field.
"The fact that we held them to 35 (points) is an amazing accomplishment," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "It is a credit to our kids. And we played real well on the defensive end with a.ot of heart."
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half.
Libertyville opened the game turning the ball over on its first five possessions. Despite that, Prospect couldn't take advantage.
The Knights only scored 3 points during that span. They would go on to hit just 1 of their first 14 field goal attempts.
Libertyville was able to regain its composure and built a 7-3 lead before Prospect's Summer Srodulski was able to convert an offensive rebound at the end of the quarter.
That play seemed to spark the Knights, who went on to hit their next 4 field goals to lead 13-9 with 5:46 left in the half.
Libertyville then tightened up its defense again, allowing the Knights just a pair of free throws from there. Meanwhile, the Wildcats were able to put together a modest 8-2 run to close out the half with a 17-15 lead.
Libertyville led 30-25 late in the third quarter, when it began to pull away.
Led by Kate Rule (15 points), Kristina Kotzan (9 points, 6 rebounds), Rachel Rule (6 points, 12 rebounds) and Libby Ryan (6 points), Libertyville scored the next 9 points on its way to a 15-4 run to put the game away.
"I think it was the energy," Kate Rule said. "We had great fans. Everyone was so excited for the game. My teammates were able to feed me when I was open."
Prospect coach Matt Weber said Libertyville's defensive play was the difference.
"I thought they put us in some disadvantaged shots and made it difficult for us to get into our offense," Weber said. "I am proud of the way our girls fought defensively."
Prospect, which shared the Mid-Suburban East title with Hersey, was led by Sroduski, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Jessica Reizer had 6 points and Andie Will had 5 points.
"Our seniors set the tone for our program," Weber said. "We had great senior leadership and they had a great season."