Girls basketball rallies against Maine South to lock in a 52-47 win

Senior Emily Fisher (3) a Maryland commit wins the tip-off for her team, setting the stage for an exhilarating game. The Cats primed themselves for a tough game against the Maine South Hawks.

On Thursday night, Feb. 2, 2023, the Libertyville girls basketball team won a home game against the Maine South Hawks, 52-47. Maine South, who held the 8th-place ranking in Class 4A, according to Associated Press, took defeat to the Wildcats (ranked 10th).

The Wildcats had an easy run for the first quarter, making countless 3-pointers and free throws from each of their players. However, the second quarter took a turn even with a 16-3 lead by the Wildcats.

Coach Pedersen mentioned that “we were concerned because they changed up their defense on us, and it was applying pressure we didn’t respond to as well.” This change resulted in a score of 27-21 at the half, due to a lucky last-minute shot from Maine South.

Throughout the third quarter, Maine South’s junior Ava Blagojevich (13) revived the team’s score, contributing three phenomenal 3-point shots from the outside. 

Siblings and juniors Rachel (32) and Kate Rule (24) rallied against their opponent, working together in harmony. On the bond between the siblings, Kate Rule said, “It’s grounding for us. She’s a grounding force for me and I for her. We just know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we can use it.” 

The Wildcat stands were filled with suspense as the fourth quarter came into play. The last half of the quarter was the turning point of the game with just over four minutes left and a score of 41-41. Emily Fisher stepped up for the team with perfect free throws. It was clear she had a plan, and it was to get her team to victory.

“When you have Emily Fisher with the ball in her hands,” Coach Pedersen said, “good things are going to tend to happen.”

By the end, it was a nail-biting finish, the score barely favoring the Wildcats 50-47, with 14.6 seconds left in the game. The Wildcats were feeling victory on their fingertips as the Hawks fouled Kate Rule, sending her to the line and giving her the last free throws of the game. The junior pulled through, making the ending score 52-47. 

Junior Talya Tillman (33) reflected on the game by saying, “I felt great in the beginning. I was a little nervous… but in the end I stayed focused and I felt good.” 

The team will continue to play the New Trier Trevians on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.