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Libertyville Friday, 12/7/12 Libertyville's Olivia Mayer (22) tries to get a shot up past Stevenson's Alex Elzinga (42) during the second quarter of Friday evening's game. Stevenson won the game, 31-27. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Olivia Mayer stands a shade under 5-foot-5, but she’s a frequent visitor to the lane.
Taller players are rarely an obstacle to the scoring intentions of the senior on Libertyville’s girls basketball team. Her fearless approach was on display during the Wildcats’ 31-27 loss to Stevenson Friday, as she charged to the basket against defenders who check in at close to 6-feet tall.
“I’ve gotten my shot blocked before, and that’s the worst that can happen,” Mayer said. “I just try to help my team.”
Her value to the young Wildcats — who started the season 2-7 — cannot be overstated.
“She’s our leader on and off the court,” Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. “She’s our facilitator. We look for her not only to score, but to set people up to score.”
Mayer, who scored 12 points Friday, said she takes whatever the defense gives her.
“I’m looking to take the open shot, but my role is driving in the lane and dishing off to my teammates,” she said. “It’s a fair mix (of passing and shooting).”
Her play grades out much higher than fair in the eyes of her rivals.
“Olivia played very well tonight,” Stevenson senior Kari Moffat said Friday. “She plays aggressively and smart. She really makes her team go.”
When the game is on the line, the Libertyville offense always flows through Mayer. She exhibits all the traits of a quality point guard, including the ability to dribble, pass, score and defend.
Pedersen has counseled his star on the importance of being a go-to player.
“We expect her to be fearless,” Pedersen said. “We’ve been encouraging her to attack the basket. She’s the one person who has to take chances to get us to where we need to be.
“She’s an excellent point guard. ... Whatever point guards need to do, Olivia is capable of doing it all.” ~.