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Libertyville-12/21/12, Fri./Libertyville High School #22 Jack Deichl, of Libertyville collides with #5 Rayn Bender, of Lake Forest near mid court Friday night during game action. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media
When Lake Forest turned the ball over three times in the first minute-and-a-half against Libertyville Friday night, Scouts coach Phil LaScala pulled four of his five starters from the game to send a message.
“(Sending a message) is definitely what I was trying to do there,” LaScala said. “I thought we came out unfocused, and those turnovers weren’t forced. They were ones where we just threw the ball away or were making poor decisions.”
LaScala’s message worked, as the Scouts eventually stormed away from the Wildcats for an important 61-45 North Suburban Conference Lake Division win.
Ahead 32-28 at halftime, Lake Forest (7-2 overall, 3-2 NSC Lake) came out of the locker room and dominated Libertyville, thanks to a 12-0 run during the first three minutes of the third quarter. Scouts’ Yale University-bound senior center Sam Downey, who had a game-high 15 points and 13 rebounds, was a huge reason why. And not just because of his scoring ability.
“When you have a guy who’s 6-9 like Sam is, you have to take advantage of that,” LaScala said. “We weren’t doing that in the first half. He creates a big mismatch for other teams, and when he draws double-teams, it opens things up for him to kick the ball out to our other shooters. We did a much better job focusing on that mismatch in the second half.”
The Scouts shot 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the field in the second half, thanks in large part to the solid all-around play of its four main guards. Ben Simpson (12 points, six rebounds, five assists), George Quall (10 points, five assists, four steals), Carter Bass (Eight points, six rebounds), and Cal Miller (Six points, four assists) rounded out a starting five that played unselfish basketball all night for the visitors.
In fact, the Scouts dished out assists on 18 of their 24 made field goals.
“That’s something I also preached to them at halftime — to play team basketball and share the ball,” LaScala said. “And that’s exactly what they came out and did.”
Senior forward/center Jack Deichl had a team-high 10 points and five rebounds for Libertyville (1-9, 0-5), who remains winless in division play. Drew Cayce, meanwhile, scored seven of his nine points for the Wildcats in the first quarter.
Libertyville shot 34 percent from the field (14-for-41), but it was their second half struggles that stood out. This, despite Lake Forest being without 6-7 standout sophomore Evan Boudreaux, who continues to nurse a sprained ankle.
“I thought we came out with a lot of energy tonight,” Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil said. “But then we started turning the ball over and doing some things that really cost us. We only made one field goal the entire third quarter (a Deichl three-pointer) and just two in the fourth quarter.”