Lake Zurich's Piggott delivers again against Stevenson
Her dad is a Stevenson great. She plays great against Stevenson.
Coincidence only, Maddy Piggott says.
"Over the years she's had some really good games against Stevenson for some reason," Lake Zurich girls basketball coach Chris Bennett said of Piggott, his senior forward and three-year varsity player. "That Stevenson matchup is one that she enjoys. I don't know if it's because her dad is on the wall when you walk into their gym."
Those hung pictures of Chris Piggott, a former all-state football and baseball player for Stevenson (Class of 1992) who also shined in basketball?
"They're terrible pictures," Maddy Piggott said with a laugh.
Piggott likely won't be apologizing to her dad (Fremd's head baseball coach) for beating his high school alma mater again. Her season-high-tying 16 points and 9 rebounds led the way on Tuesday night, as Lake Zurich edged visiting Stevenson 46-45 in a North Suburban Conference matchup between two teams that have been rolling lately.
Lake Zurich also beat Stevenson by 1 point in the teams' first meeting this season (39-38 on Dec. 12).
Piggott's effort was impressive enough that Stevenson assistant coach Tom Kelly stopped her in the handshake line and complimented her. Piggott shot 5 of 7 from the floor and 6 of 12 from the foul line.
"What a fierce competitor," Stevenson head coach Ashley Graham said. "She is just a tough-as-nails kid. She's a pure athlete. Shoots at the top of her jump, rebounds well, boxes out well, runs well. She does a lot of little things for them."
Lake Zurich (13-13, 7-4) won for the fifth time in its last six games. Stevenson (18-9, 7-5) lost for just the second time in its last 10 games.
"We had films on them and everybody played zone," Bennett said. "We thought we could guard them in man if we had good angles, and we had pretty good angles all night long."
Ella Gilbertson, who scored 15 points, helped lead the Bears' defensive effort. She held Avery King (8 rebounds) to a season-low 7 points. It was only the second time in 27 games this season that King did not score in double figures.
"I'm wishing someone is going to find out the fact that Ella Gilbertson is easily one of the best defenders in Lake County," Bennett said. "She held (Lake Forest's) Halle Douglass to 8 (points, first game this season) and 11 (second game), and last year did the same on her. She's long and she's awesome with angles."
Lake Zurich trailed 21-15 at halftime but then outscored Stevenson 14-1 in the third quarter. Margueret Spear (4 steals) scored 7 of her 9 points, including the Bears' only 3-pointer, in the third. The Patriots missed all 6 of their shots in the quarter and turned the ball over five times.
"We just weren't playing like we know we can play (in the first half)," Piggott said. "We had low energy, and we were down by only six points. We were like, 'If we come out in the second half and play like we know we can play, that's usually our game.' I think we did a pretty good job."
Spear's 3 with 2:36 to go in the third gave Lake Zurich its first lead (24-22) since the junior guard opened the scoring with a steal and layup. The Bears never trailed after that, extending their lead to as many as 10 points. With Stevenson trailing 46-42, Nikki Ware hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in the game, but Lake Zurich let the time on the clock run out.
Freshman guard Ava Bardic led Stevenson with a season-high 15 points. Ware scored all of her 10 points (two 3s) in the fourth. Simone Sawyer had 8 points and 6 rebounds for the Patriots.
"We came out flat in the third quarter," Graham said. "It's a testament to Lake Zurich and their ability to defend. They took some things away that are usually our strong suits -- drive and get to the rim or drive and kick out."