Zion-Benton downs Libertyville
Getting ready for the boys basketball postseason is on the mind of most teams this week as they play their final regular-season games.
Zion-Benton appears to be ready in earnest.
With an impressive third quarter, the Zee-Bees ran past visiting Libertyville 74-62 in a North Suburban Conference match up in Zion on Wednesday night.
Amar Augillard led the way for Zion with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Damontae Taylor added 21 points and Jahkai Ransom chipped in with 12 points for the Zee-Bees (19-10, 9-5).
"We remembered the last time when we lost to Libertyville," Augillard said. "I think it was a different type of anger that came out. We just had to send a message. We had to rebound hard and move around the ball real well."
Libertyville (18-11, 7-7) was led by Chase Bonder with 18 points and 7 rebounds and James Steinhaus added 11 points with three 3-pointers. However, Patrick Graham was injured with a hit to the mouth early in the third quarter and didn't return.
According to Libertyville coach Bryan Zyrkowski Bonder is OK.
Zion-Benton had a 17-14 lead after the opening quarter and extended its lead to 37-30 by the break by hitting a number of free throws.
At the start of the third quarter, the Zee-Bees opened with a 23-0 run and doubled up the Wildcats, 60-30, on Kaleb Taylor's layup with 2:50 left.
Libertyville missed its first 11 shots then Bonder broke the run as he scored 9 points of a 12-4 run the other way, but the Wildcats trailed 64-42 at the end of the third quarter.
Libertyville managed to cut the lead down to 12 in the final minute of the fourth.
" (Zion-Benton) came out with a lot more energy in the third quarter than us," Zyrkowski said. "They took us out of what we wanted to do and sometimes you have to credit the other team.
"In this conference, going on the road, the last time we beat them at home and they beat us at their place. This is how this conference is and it's a tough conference."
Libertyville and Zion-Benton could meet up for a third time but on a neutral court next week in the Class 4A Warren regional final.
"This was the last game of the season and now you have to prepare for the playoffs," Zyrkowski said. "You need a short-term memory in this situation, because now we have to get focused for our Tuesday night game against Warren."