The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Wildcats win a close one over Warren, 53-47

Photo: Ben Kanches
Senior Drew Fortini and junior Brandon Cook do their pregame ritual during the starting lineups.

Libertyville took on Warren at home on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and came out with a victory, 53-47, on the shoulders of junior Drew Peterson’s 23-point effort.

The Wildcats improved to 3-5, with their first conference win of the young season, while the Blue Devils fell to 3-3.

Juniors Brandon Simberg and Ryan Wittenbrink were out for the game, which allowed others to have a larger role, including juniors Chase Eyre, Riley Gowens and Brandon Cook. Gowens and Cook were at a disadvantage in size versus Warren’s 6’8”, 220-pound senior Declan O’Connor.

“It was a collective effort. Chase Eyre did a great job, Riley Gowens did a great job battling, Brandon Cook did a great job battling, and our regulars, Drew Peterson again was fantastic offensively and he is getting better defensively too and he was great on the glass, rebounding,” coach Brent Mork said in a post-game interview. “Harrison Bach was really good and Brandon Rule did a nice job, Drew Fortini took some charges. It was a collective effort. You don’t win basketball [games] individually, it has got to be a group effort every single time down the floor, that is the only way we are going to be successful this year.”

The Wildcats started the game slowly, scoring only eight points in the first quarter and commiting six fouls.

Late in the second quarter, the Cats picked it up and cut Warren’s lead to only one at the half. To cap off the wild end to the half, Cook had a shot block on O’Connor, which sent the student section into a frenzy.

After starting slowly with only six first-half points, Peterson began the second half with a bang, scoring seven points in the first 5:09 of the third quarter, giving LHS the lead. The Wildcats would take that lead into the fourth, up 38-33.

In the fourth, LHS turned the ball over on four straight possessions, leading to an 8-0 run for Warren and a major swing of momentum. With 4:27 remaining, Coach Mork called a timeout to stop the bleeding, down by two points.

With two minutes left, Eyre hit a clutch three from the corner to give LHS a two-point lead, and they never looked back. Both Eyre and Rule had steals in the last 30 seconds to help ice the game and give the Cats their third win of the season after a slow start.

“Part of the early season struggles was us being a young team, and we played some really good competition in the first five games and so, you know as a young team to face competition like that, we may struggle early but hopefully you just keep learning and try to grow and develop with every game that you play,” commented coach Mork. “So that is what the guys are doing now… our guys are starting to figure out some of the details that go into it and most importantly tonight, they gave incredible effort, like they wanted it tonight and that is the first time we have really wanted it this year.”

Following the exciting win, the Wildcats’ next game is at home on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., when they take on Waukegan.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Wildcats win a close one over Warren, 53-47