Being “heart healthy” was the theme at Libertyville on Monday night as the girls basketball team hosted a “Red Out” in conjunction with its game against Warren.
Proceeds of special red T-shirts and donations from fans were to go to the American Heart Association.
Meanwhile, players from both teams wore red in honor of the event. There were red socks and red arm sleeves and red head bands. Coaches and managers wore red shirts and sweaters. Cheerleaders pinned paper hearts to their outfits.
The only problem was, the game itself did no favors for the heart health of either head coach.
A couple of stress tests may be in order after Warren somehow managed to pull out an ugly, and at times painstaking, 29-24 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory almost in spite of itself. The Blue Devils rolled up more turnovers (24) than made baskets (10) and almost more turnovers than even shot attempts (26).
“You just try not to blow a gasket about it too much,” Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz said of the turnovers. “You just try to be positive and teach and correct, but it’s frustrating. Right now, that’s just us. We turn the ball over. Our Achilles heel is turnovers and until we fix that, the games will be (ugly).”
Meanwhile, Libertyville’s lack of artistic flare centered around shooting. The Wildcats hit just 10-of-48 field goal attempts for a measly 21 percent shooting clip.
The Blue Devils, who got a team-high 8 points out of junior forward Kristin Jacobs, pulled away in the final minute with a couple of big defensive stops and some made free throws by guards Rachel Brown, Aurianna Hampton and Kylie Nedelka.
Senior forward Alyssa Phillips was Warren’s defensive stopper.
She blocked a Libertyville shot with about 50 seconds to play and Warren clinging to a 25-23 lead. On the very next possession, she stole a Libertyville pass in the paint and then she came up with some big rebounds at the end.
“In the second half, we got on our defense,” said Phillips, who had 5 points. “We made some changes at halftime and I think it threw off their offense a little bit.”
“Basically, I was just trying to be like Dwight Howard and make sure no one got to the basket. I was trying to steal anything I could, block anything I could.”
Phillips was not able to get a hand on a 3-point attempt by Libertyville guard Rosie Lynch with about 40 seconds remaining, and the shot was on target before bouncing off the rim. That would have tied the game at 27-27.
Lynch had hit two big 3-pointers in the third quarter.
“I had a lot of energy off those threes,” said Lynch, who paced Libertyville with 8 points. “We just couldn’t get a lot of our other shots to fall tonight, even though we had really good looks.”
Libertyville, which also got 6 points out of Haley Hoeksel, had just 11 turnovers on the game, but 5 of them came in the fourth quarter when ball security was crucial in a nip-and-tuck finish.
“We played excellent defense and we put Warren in tough spots to score,” said Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen, whose team drops to 4-8 overall and 3-3 in the Lake. “But we couldn’t capitalize on it at the offensive end because we were uglier than Warren was. We couldn’t knock down shots. We didn’t have our hands ready or our feet set, and that’s really disappointing.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.