Libertyville's big comeback falls just short vs. Lake Forest
The matchups between Libertyville and Lake Forest were intense last year and in their first meeting this season on Tuesday night the highly anticipated battle was another good one to open up the North Suburban Conference schedule.
The Wildcats were down by 19 points in the third quarter but rallied back to tie the game in the final minutes but couldn't sustain the energy they needed to get the victory, losing to host Lake Forest 64-60 in girls basketball in the NSC opener.
Wisconsin-bound Halle Douglass led the Scouts with a career-best 33 points and 12 rebounds.
"It was a great achievement against (Lake Forest)," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "We're not playing at the tempo that we want to be playing at. So, in the first half was like our last half was like our last game. It was playing slow basketball. In the second half, we wanted to change the tempo and change the pace. The girls responded really well. The girls' defensive pressure was outstanding and it was a little bit of work to get the ball out of Douglass' hands. She's such an amazing player."
The Wildcats were down 46-27 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, but they put together a 25-6 run and tied the game at 52-52 on a layup by Lydia Crow (13) points with 3:48 left in the game.
"We wanted to change things up at the start of the second half," Pedersen said. "We didn't know if we could sustain that type of run. We sustained that longer with full energy than I was hoping for, but you can see the tail off."
Lauren Huber also was a big part of the comeback, scoring all off her team-high 19 points in the second half that added to the resurgence.
"It was a hard game," Huber said. "We just stepped up, started pressing and did really good as a team. We came back to tie, it was good and it was crazy. I just wanted to make my shots (second half). I just had to keep shooting and the shots started to fall. The team was just helping me so much."
The Scouts (6-0) got composed down the stretch making a couple of shots and their free throws, which made the difference in the end.
Lake Forest won the Cougars tournament at Vernon Hills over Thanksgiving and won each game by big margins. But this was a true test of playing better competition.
"(Libertyville) was going to keep fighting and they hit a ton of shots at the end," Lake Forest coach Kyle Wilhelm said. "We had the momentum on our side. This was a big test for us, but I think we get to learn from this with a win. Although, we could've learned from it with a loss. We haven't faced this kind of adversity this season as of yet. It's early and we haven't been in a tight game."
The Scouts' Finola Summerville added 11 points and 10 rebounds.