Patiently, Crow helps Libertyville beat Stevenson
Scoreless at halftime in a high-scoring game, one of the best shooters in Lake County never worried about her offense.
For starters, Lydia Crow and her Libertyville basketball teammates were beating visiting Stevenson in the teams' North Suburban Conference showdown on Wednesday night.
"Any pure shooter is going to get upset when they have zero points at halftime, right?" Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said.
Nope. Not Crow.
"I wasn't really worried about how many points I had," she said. "I knew (the shots) would start falling if I kept shooting. I knew that my team would give me good passes. We were all playing really well together."
Libertyville has been playing well together all season, and that continued against Stevenson, as the Wildcats won 62-52 to improve to 7-2 and 4-0 in the NSC, while dropping the Patriots to 6-2 and 1-2 in the NSC.
Margaret Buchert scored 18 points (three 3-pointers) to lead four Wildcats in double figures. Crow finished with 14 points, including nine in the fourth quarter to help the hosts pull away late. After missing her first 5 shots in the game, Crow made 5 of her last 7.
A post-up bucket got her going early in the third, and then late in the quarter her first of two 3-pointers extended the Wildcats' lead to 43-39.
"When my shot's not falling, I'm trying to drive more, and that creates more energy for me," Crow said. "I'm just trying to incorporate more of an all-around game."
Call it the growth of a player, one who's playing her third season on varsity as a junior. Crow, who already owns the Wildcats' career record for made 3-pointers, had scored a season-high 22 points (five 3s) in a win over Mundelein two nights earlier.
"What I'm most proud of is, Lydia doesn't get frustrated anymore," Pedersen said. "She lets the game come to her. She doesn't force things. There were times tonight where I was thinking, 'I think she's going to jack this one,' and she didn't. She moved the ball again and found open people. Then in the second half she was able to find more space, and we were able to get her in the low block a little to get her going."
Avery King did all she could to keep Stevenson in the game all night, as the junior guard/forward finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Freshman Simone Sawyer added 14 points, including four of the Patriots' 11 3-pointers. King sank three 3s, and Lydia Lueck knocked down a pair.
Stevenson shot 46 percent (18 of 39) from the floor, and Libertyville was even better, sinking 52 percent (23 of 44) of its shots.
"Another good NSC game," Patriots coach Ashley Graham said.
Stevenson, whose only interior length is provided by the 5-foot-11 King, threw a zone at Libertyville in the first half and held Crow to 0-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc.
"But then Buchert and (Abigail) Frea hit (3-pointers) and just took advantage of that situation," Graham said. "That's just the type of individuals they have and how sound they are as a basketball team. You take something away, and something else is there."
Down 28-23 at halftime, Stevenson got within 41-39 at the end of three. But Crow made 3 shots in the fourth, part of 6-of-8 shooting in the quarter for the Wildcats, who opened the final frame with a 7-0 run. Lauren Huber added 13 points (two 3-pointers), 5 rebounds and 3 steals for Libertyville.
Wildcats senior Maddie Spaulding had 10 points and grabbed 3 of her team-high 9 rebounds in the fourth quarter.
"Her rebounding at the end was enormous," Pedersen said of his three-varsity player and 5-11 post. "She was a huge reason why we were able to hold onto that lead at the end. And at the offensive end she's very competent."