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Libertyville (20) Jack Lipp shoots in first half action. Libertyville plays North Chicago in a BBK game at North Chicago, 1717 17th Street, North Chicago, IL on Saturday night 1-12-13.|Judy Fidkowski~Pioneer Press
During an NSC Lake Division game against Warren Friday, Libertyville junior guard Jack Lipp found himself struggling.
He’d missed all five field of his shot attempts in the first half, and his team trailed by eight points at the start of the third quarter. Lipp and his teammates kept hanging around, but they couldn’t seem to get over the hump that finally would’ve put them ahead.
That’s when Lipp decided to take over the game.
With about two minutes left in the third quarter, Lipp found himself at the free throw line after aggressively attacking the basket on a layup attempt. He made the first, but his second attempt came up short off the front of the rim.
Lipp raced into the lane — diving head-first — and scooped up his own miss. While on the floor, instead of calling timeout amidst what seemed like a sea of blue Warren jerseys, he somehow found 6-foot-8 sophomore teammate Joe Borcia for an easy basket. It tied the game and marked the first time Libertyville hadn’t trailed since early in the first quarter.
Moments later, Lipp ripped a pass attempt away from a Warren player and rifled the ball to center Jack Deichl, whose bucket gave the Wildcats the lead and set off a loud roar from the home fans. Lipp would also make another basket and dish out an assist on sophomore guard Drew Cayce’s 3-pointer before the end of the quarter.
Libertyville eventually lost the game 66-59, but Lipp went on to finish with six points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“He’s done that in a lot of games,” Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil said. “I remember in our first game of the year, he was so silent for like the first three quarters, and all of the sudden, it wasn’t just the shots he started hitting ... he was suddenly doing everything out there. It was like that (against Warren), too. He sort of lulls you to sleep, because he’s not the quickest guy. But he gets these bursts where he’s almost unstoppable.”
Lipp’s skills were at their best during the Wheeling Holiday Tournament in late December. In a four-game span, he averaged 22 points per game — more than anyone else on any team — and he was an all-tourney selection.
Lipp was called up to the varsity squad by Bogumil midway through his sophomore year, and he’s been there ever since. He’s still adjusting.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but a lot of times I kind of dominated at the sophomore level,” Lipp said. “But once I got up to the varsity squad, it was mind-blowing how much quicker the game was. I almost couldn’t believe it. Now that I’m here, it’s not all about scoring all the time. It’s about being a team player and doing all the little things to help us win.
“I take as much pride in a great pass as I do making a basket. I want to try and have a great all-around game and not just be known as someone who scores.”
Senior Matt Varner loves having the 6-4 Lipp, who regularly plays both guard positions, as a teammate.
“I love playing with him out there,” said Varner, Libertyville’s leading scorer. “He’s just got that gamer attitude. He’s willing to take the big shot when he can, he knows how to get open, he’s a great passer and he’s got a ton of confidence.”