LAKE FOREST, Ill.–Tuesday night delivered high school basketball fans across the state a spectacular game between Libertyville and Lake Forest. We saw it first on December 12, 2017 in overtime at “The Jungle,” when the Scouts suffered a five-point loss. They were determined to put the ending in their favor this time around, no matter how long it would take.
The rivalry started off with a commanding lead in favor of the home Scouts; they played with some serious ferocity and took a 15-8 lead after the 1st quarter. In the second quarter, Libertyville star Drew Peterson knocked down some contested 3s and Chase Eyre gave the Cats an extra lift that proved critical towards the end of the half. The two rivals battled back and forth all game long, playing competitive basketball up to the final buzzer. In the end of regulation, Scout Nation forced Libertyville into a late shot that came after the buzzer, sending these two teams into another overtime thriller. The first two overtime periods went similarly, with Libertyville getting the scoring started, followed by a Lake Forest rebuttal basket. Ultimately, in the first two overtimes Libertyville ended up taking the final shot, but failed on both opportunities. The final overtime period seemed to be going similarly, until Mead Payne came up with a steal with a minute left, ultimately leading to a two-point Lake Forest lead. That lead was soon diminished as Peterson knocked down two free-throws. The Scouts had the ball to end the second overtime period, something they surely wouldn’t let slip away.
Here’s their final possession:
— Bobby Winebrenner (@rcwinebrenner) February 7, 2018
Those two aforementioned Wildcats, Eyre and Peterson, finished with 49 of Libertyville’s 59 points, 21 of which came from beyond the 3-point line. Lake Forest had a strong gameplan which prevented the Wildcats from getting any easy buckets, forcing Eyre and Peterson into contested shots which they still impressively managed to knock down. For Lake Forest, Ben Gibson scored 32 of their 61 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds, an exceptional double-double that came while shooting 66% from the field. The Lake Forest star gave them the type of boost they needed to upset the top-of-the-conference Wildcats. Also chipping in for the Scouts was Mead Payne, who had 11 points, but dealt with foul trouble through much of the game.
Tuesday night was an awesome spectacle for all fans, from both Libertyville and Lake Forest. The Scouts got a much needed conference victory over Libertyville (14-8, 7-3) to improve to (4-6) in league play. Coach LaScala’s team now has 4 conference victories in their last 5 games, starting to peak at the right time before playoffs.