Libertyville doubles up St. Viator
Libertyville's girls basketball team was on the road for the sixth time in seven games on Wednesday night at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.
But that didn't mean the Wildcats couldn't find a way to feel at home.
In recent years, many of the players were in the class of St. Viator coach Jason Raymomd, a physical education teacher at Highland Middle School in Libertyville.
And the Wildcats (5-2) played like they were right at home, registering a 62-31 triumph in the nonconference game.
"It's funny, every year we play them and see him (Raymond)," said Emily Fisher of her former gym teacher. "And my AAU teammate Mia Bergstorm (junior standout) also plays for St. Viator."
With the score tied at 6-6, the Wildcats went on a 17-0 run with Fisher scoring 10 of her game-high 17 points. The Maryland recruit scored five baskets all from within six feet, getting an assist along the way from senior Lily Castro (4 points) that made it 21-6.
"I just think we're sort of on a run as a team," said the 6-foot senior Fisher, who also was a force with rebounding and scrappy defense. "We wanted to start this season off well and we had kind of a rough start (in the Buffalo Grove Bison Classic). But now we're playing better as a team. We're meshing a lot better than at the start and that has just sparked us at the start of this game."
Fisher followed with a fastbreak layup that made it 23-6 before Rachel Rule's 3-pointer extended the lead to 26-6.
Lions sophomore Allie von Schlegell's 3-pointer ended the rally, making it 26-9 with 2:56 left to intermission.
Junior guards Rachel Rule (15 points, three 3-pointers) and Kate Rule (11) were Libertyville's next-highest scorers.
"I thought Emily Fisher brought a new level of intensity to this game," said Wildcats coach Greg Pedersen. "When she plays defense like that, that's what gets her offense going. She is tough to stop when she defends like that.
"And the outside shooting came for the Rules. They did real well. And just the defensive intensity in our last few games has raised a notch and it's really propelled our offense."
Rachel Rule hit two 3-pointers in the final 2:18 of the half and the Lions' Grace Gerdes-Grabowy converted a putback and driving layup which sent Libertyville into intermission leading 32-13.
The Wildcats didn't let up in the second half, building a 40-15 lead when Kate Rule scored on a fastbreak layup with 5:55 left in the third quarter.
Also getting into the scoring column for Libertyville were Sophia Swanson, Emily Dillon, Maddy Kopala, Madison Sears and Tayla Tillman, who had the Wildcats' first two baskets for a 4-0 lead.
Molly Craig and Gerdes-Grabowy led the hosts (1-4) with 6 points apiece while Bergstrom (one 3-pointer) and von Schlegell each had 5.
"We are a work in progress," Raymond said. "Libertyville is a really good ballclub. They have a team to be reckoned throughout the season."