Cats win close game against Bulldogs, 75-71

Wildcats+win+conference+game+against+Waukegan+75-71%2C+improving+their+record+4-5+overall+and+2-0+in+conference.

Luke Ekdahl

Wildcats win conference game against Waukegan 75-71, improving their record 4-5 overall and 2-0 in conference.

Luke Ekdahl, Staff Writer

In a close and long-fought game, the Libertyville varsity boys basketball team won against Waukegan, 75-71, at home on Friday, Dec. 9.

The Cats started strong out of the gates as they were up by 6, 21-15, after the first quarter. They continued to hold the lead through the end of the second quarter. At halftime, with the Cats in the lead, the varsity dance team took the court to provide the crowd with a sharp routine to keep the positive energy flowing.

Despite best efforts, in the third and fourth quarters, the Cats lost some traction and in fact, Waukegan held the lead for some time at certain points in the second half.

“Our guys did a great job of coming out with tremendous energy in the first half to get ourselves a nice lead. We knew Waukegan would make a run at some point, but we were able to take their runs and have answers to them,” commented  head coach Mork of the Libertyville varsity boys basketball team over email, “This is the second game in a row where we had to overcome a deficit in the last half of the 4th quarter. It’s about the players believing they can do it.”

The last five minutes of the game were intense. The Cats and Bulldogs continued to score back and forth, resulting in the lead changing hands every few minutes. In the last 40 seconds of the game, junior Chase Eyre made a three-point shot that put the Cats in the lead for the remainder of the game.

We as a team tried to stay positive and focus on how we can finish the game. With about two minutes remaining, [Harrison Bach] pulled us together and gave us a talk that detailed how we can make our final run and close it out,” stated Chase Eyre, over email, on the end of the game.

Drew Peterson had an awesome performance; 33 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, but all of our guys played so hard. Chase Eyre continues to do a really nice job off the bench for us. Harrison Bach did a great job of handling the pressure Waukegan was putting on him. Brandon Rule hit some nice three pointers. Riley Gowens and Drew Fortini did a great job defensively on some really good players. And our bench was just awesome,” stated coach Mork over email, on the overall performance of the team.

The student section rushed the court as the final buzzer went off to celebrate the win. The Wildcats are now 4-5, winning two conference games this season so far.

“The energy in that gym was amazing. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to have contended with that great team we were up against,” stated Chase Eyre, over email, on his appreciation for the crowd support, “Let’s keep those types of games up.”

Coach Mork felt similarly, saying “Our guys really appreciate the student support we’ve received over the first 3 home games. We’d love to keep getting more students out to our games, both home and away, and cheer our boys on.”

The team will be playing next at Lake Forest High School on Tuesday, December 13th, at 7:00pm.