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The Lake Forest girls basketball team beat Niles North 26-25 on Thursday afternoon, despite shooting 23 percent from the field and seeing its 12-point halftime lead quickly vanish in the third quarter.
Niles North outscored Lake Forest 13-2 in the third quarter and cut the Scouts’ lead to 26-25 on senior Shelly-Rae Moody’s layup with 50.5 seconds remaining. But, after forcing a turnover on defense, Niles North failed to score on its final possession of the game. The Vikings turned the ball over with 4.5 seconds remaining to fall to 0-15 on the season.
Both teams will play in the final round of Warren’s Blue Devil Classic on Friday.
“They did a better job of attacking our 1-3-1,” said Lake Forest coach Kyle Wilhelm, regarding what changed in the second half. “They spaced out the floor really well and got some looks in the middle of the floor. They turned up the pressure... We just didn’t finish down low. We weren’t going strong to the basket. We were kind of being soft with our shots. We left a lot of points on the table there that could have pulled us away.”
A big reason why the Scouts were so ineffective scoring in the paint was because of Niles North junior Taylor Louis. Louis had six blocked shots and, in a number of instances, hurried the shots of Lake Forest’s front line.
After the game, Niles North coach Dan Paxson kept a positive outlook on where his team is headed. Although Niles North is now 0-15, Paxson said the way the Vikings fought back and continue to believe they can win is a positive sign for the team’s upcoming games.
“In the past, once we dig ourselves a hole, we sometimes have a difficulty fighting back,” Paxson said. “I thought we did a great job of fighting our way back into the game. We had an opportunity to win... We’re just having a hard time putting points on the board.”