Scouts travel west to take on red-hot Libertyville team

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Bobby Winebrenner

Lake Forest vs. Libertyville. Wildcats vs. Scouts: A matchup that draws attention no matter the sport. This time, the two are set to square off on the basketball floor at Libertyville High School. The battle tips off at 7:00 pm as the Scouts hope to end their 2-game skid. Libertyville is coming off a very impressive victory over Waukegan, a team which garnered lots of hype before the season. Tonight’s another critical test for both teams in determining the champion of the ultra-competitive North Suburban Conference.

Headlined by 6’7’ swingman Drew Peterson, Libertyville (4-3) is coming off three straight wins over Waukegan, Warren, and Lake Forest Academy. As all sports fans know, the transitive property cannot be used when determining a team’s caliber. But just for reference, the Wildcats have played two overlapping games with Lake Forest. They lost to St. Viator 60-52 in their opening game, and beat Warren 59-54 a week ago. Peterson scored a whopping 37 points against the Bulldogs on Friday, propelling them to an unexpected W. The unsigned senior is averaging 28 points and 10 rebounds per game. If the Scouts want to come out of Libertyville with a win they’ll need to do their best to shutdown Peterson.

Lake Forest (3-4) has lost two straight games by ten points–last week to Stevenson, and this past friday to Warren. Ben Gibson (15.4 ppg) was recently promoted to captain, joining Sean Trkla and Drew Arnson. The three have a lot to do if they want to get back on track amidst their tough North Suburban Conference slate. In the past, Trkla has typically guarded the opponents’ best player. But Peterson’s size and length makes it difficult to put a defender on him. Possibly Gibson will guard him, or Arnson, but either way, stopping Peterson is the main priority for the Scouts to escape with a win. Lake Forest will also need their center, Mead Payne, to step things up. Payne has been averaging 10.9 ppg and 6.1 rebounds per game. In their losses, however, Payne has seemed almost invisible at times. Teams have done their best to shut down the 6’7 center , so the Scouts must get some added point production from their guards.

Tonight will certainly be a very tough task for Lake Forest and we’ll learn a lot about this team. Coach LaScala’s bunch needs Scout Nation to help them breakthrough on the road.