Hot start lifts Libertyville over Lake Zurich

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/10/2021 10:06 PM

Libertyville got off to a hot start in its North Suburban Conference boys basketball opener with a 57-30 victory over the host Bears in Lake Zurich on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (1-1, 1-0) rebounded from a defeat on the road at Rolling Meadows on Tuesday night.


Blake Ellingson of Libertyville opened the scoring in the early moments by knocking down a couple of 3-pointers of his game-high 12 points. Libertyville scored the first 13 points and led 24-4 after the opening quarter.

"It felt good to be competing again after the long break," Ellingson said. "We had hoped to come out to get a win. We have some great competition coming up.

"The first shot that came off my hands felt good, so I just kept shooting. The ball just went in for me."

Chase Bonder also added a game-high 12 points, as Libertyville held a 36-17 lead at the break.

"Playing (Tuesday vs. Rolling Meadows) was an unexpected game," Libertyville coach Brian Zyrkowski said. "We had four hours to leave for that game that we scheduled last minute. It helped us by seeing a little zone. You work on enough in practice for what you might see in a game. It was nice for our guys to come out with a little more energy and they had a real good first half. Our starters did a real good job to set the tempo."

Lake Zurich (0-1, 0-1) had its first opportunity to play and it was more of what coach Terry Coughlin could appreciate for just getting on the court. Nick Pezzella led the way with 9 points and Alex Popovich added 8 as both players came off the bench.

"This was the happiest I've been after a loss for my entire life," Coughlin said. "I told my kids, we harped on this three weeks ago, we didn't think that we would ever get a chance to do this. I was prepping for a time what was I going to say to the seniors that we might not play. For u, to be here it's all positive and it's a positive experience for these players. Especially for our seniors that have worked so hard. These guys get that opportunity, as a coach, I'm so proud of that and the effort they've put into it."

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