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Gurnee-02/02/13, Sat./Warren High School #22 Olivia Mayer, of Libertyville with the shot vs. Warren. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media
Libertyville senior point guard Olivia Mayer did just about whatever she wanted to on the basketball court Saturday night.
Mayer finished with a game-high 16 points — on 8-of-10 shooting — for the Wildcats, who trounced host Warren 40-26 in the North Suburban Lake finale for both clubs.
She also dished out six assists and pulled down five rebounds.
“Olivia doesn’t want to be a ball hog, but I told her earlier in the year she needs to be a ball hog,” Libertyville coach Greg Pederson said. “She’s so quick out there, and when she’s able to attack the basket more and take more shots, the numbers show we’re a much better team.”
Mayer served notice this would be her night early. In the first quarter, she faked a Warren defender out of her shoes on a crossover that led to an easy layup. Then, midway through the second quarter, she faked a pass while driving, forcing three Blue Devil defenders to look the other way, and sank a pretty running floater that drew a loud gasp from the fans in attendance.
She also swished a buzzer-beater for good measure on an inbounds pass as time expired at the end of the third quarter. Mayer, who will attend Division-III Augustana to play basketball and lacrosse when she graduates, was all smiles afterward.
“We’ve had glimpses lately of just how good we can be,” Mayer said. “And I think we all see that now. We’re really confident out there and playing well together as a team.”
It was also the fourth win in a row for streaking Libertyville (13-13 overall, 7-5 NSC Lake), who reached the .500 mark despite having started the season 0-6. The Wildcats host Wauconda next Tuesday in their final regular-season contest and, remarkably, have a chance to finish with a winning record despite drawing a No. 13 seed in the upcoming Class 4A playoffs.
The Wildcats got plenty of help from senior forward Dana Kym, too, who finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and forced six separate jump ball calls Saturday. She says her club is oozing with confidence and was happy to exact a bit of revenge as Libertyville lost at home to Warren by five earlier this season.
“We’re still all kind of on a high from last Thursday night’s overtime win against New Trier,” Kym said. “Warren’s always been one of our rivals, and I just really wanted to come get this win on their home court. This was another big win for us. The way we’ve been playing lately ... it’s just a whole lot of fun out there.”
The Blue Devils (14-12, 7-5), meanwhile, shot just 26.3 percent (10-for-38) from the field, due in large part to a stingy defensive effort by the visitors. Warren senior star forward Alyssa Phillips (seven points, nine rebounds) was even held scoreless the entire first half.
“I look at the numbers, and we just missed a lot of shots out there tonight,” Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz said. We got to the foul line way more than they did tonight (17 times, compared to just four for Libertyville). “We had just as many field goal attempts as they did. Libertyville just beat us at our own game and made plays when they needed to.
“We also didn’t do a good enough job of getting Alyssa as many touches as we should’ve.”