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Crystal Lake-12/01/12, Sat./Crystal Lake South High School #12 Nick Carlucci, of Libertyville gets tripped up on the lose ball vs. Crystal Lake South in game action. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media
Saturday night’s non-conference boys basketball matchup between Crystal Lake South and Libertyville was the scrappy kind of affair usually reserved for late in the regular season or the playoffs.
All five of Crystal Lake South’s starters finished with at least three fouls, and all but one of Libertyville’s did the same. The Gators never trailed en route to a 65-57 win that essentially turned into a second-half free throw contest.
Senior guard Nick Geske scored a game-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds for the Gators, and Crystal Lake South shot 16-for-28 from the foul line in the second half. They pulled away down the stretch despite shooting just 50 percent (11-for-22) from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
“Yeah, it kind of did turn into a free throw-shooting contest,” said Matt LePage, Crystal Lake South’s first-year coach. “Sharing the ball was a big emphasis for us coming into tonight. If you watch the tape, we didn’t share the ball well at all in our games last week. Today, we did; and we’re a good team when we move the ball like that and everyone’s touching it.”
The Gators (2-2) dished out 20 assists and outrebounded Libertyville 40-33.
Libertyville (1-4) was 8-of-12 from the foul line in the second half, and just 11-for-21 on the night. Compounding the problem, the Wildcats shot just 32.2 percent from the field (20-for-62).
Senior Matthew Varner (20 points, nine rebounds), who was their leading scorer, had no such problems. He finished 8-for-11 from the field. Senior forward Connor Clark chipped in 13 points off the bench for the Wildcats.
“We’re playing better than it appears at times,” Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil said. “If we keep working hard and believing in ourselves, we’re going to be a lot better as the season progresses, especially in the second half of the year.”