Bonder shines for Libertyville in win over St. Charles North
The Libertyville boys basketball team struck gold on its first three trips on offense Monday afternoon.
Three different players scored in as many possessions to start the Wildcats' MLK Day of Hoops game against St. Charles North at Geneva.
Libertyville never trailed in administering the North Stars their first defeat of the calendar year with a 64-52 victory.
"We weren't real interested in getting stops," St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin said of the Wildcats' quick 8-0 lead in the opening minute-plus of the game.
Chase Bonder came of age for the Wildcats in the process.
A 6-foot-5 sophomore post for Libertyville (11-6), Bonder scored a career-high 24 points to lead three players in double figures for the Wildcats.
Two of his field goals were symbolic against the North Stars (13-4).
Bonder had a near-miraculous tip-in at the first-quarter buzzer to give Libertyville its first of multiple double-figure leads at 21-10.
Later in the third quarter, Bonder drained one of his four 3-pointers on the Wildcats' fourth shot of a single possession.
St. Charles North, which also had three players in double digits, never came closer than 6 points after Libertyville went to the break with a 33-21 lead.
"Coach (Brian Zyrkowski) tells me about keeping a rebounding mindset," Bonder said of his tip at the first-quarter buzzer off a desperation 3-pointer.
Bonder hit two 3-pointers apiece in the second and third quarters to keep the North Stars at bay.
"It's always good to build a lead, to hit a shot," Bonder said. "It was good to expand the lead (on last 3-pointer after multiple Libertyville offensive rebounds)."
Blake Ellingson is normally a starter for the Wildcats, but the junior was the seventh-man against St. Charles North after missing a shootaround due to a football conflict.
St. Charles North probably wishes he were sidelined the entire contest.
Ellingson provided an additional spark off the bench with 13 points.
"I was just trying to give my team a boost for a jump-start," Ellingson said of his 8 first-half points. "We came out super good, maybe the best all year."
Jackson Watson scored all 11 of his points for Libertyville in the opening half.
In defeat, St. Charles North had more than one pleasing development.
Bradley-bound senior post Connor Linke scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds.
Luke Scheffers' back-to-back steals for buckets in transition to open the third quarter were the foundation of his team-high 15 points.
Max Love unquestionably energized the team as the North Stars' sixth-man scored in bunches in the second and fourth quarters to finish with 12 points.
"We just have to execute better," Love said. "We've got to learn from our mistakes and move forward."
"We didn't compete tonight," Poulin said. "For me, this is as disappointed as I have been with this group."