Mayer take Libertyvilles scoring higher
It's not that Olivia Mayer's shots are short.
Rather, it's the short guard's shot totals that are falling short of her coach's expectations.
"I mean, it's not that I don't like to shoot," said Mayer, Libertyville's 5-foot-5 veteran. "It's just that I like setting up my teammates better than I like shooting."
Mayer fired up 9 shots in Libertyville's 62-33 win over Grant in opening-round action of the Mundelein Holiday Classic on Wednesday. She sank 5 of her field-goal attempts and scored 12 points, in addition to coming up with 7 steals and 5 rebounds.
"She's such a nice kid and she's so unselfish that she wants to find other people," Wildcats coach Greg Pedersen said. "It's been a struggle for us and for her to get her to shoot the ball."
Pedersen told Mayer he wanted her to shoot 15 times Wednesday. That didn't happen, but then again, Libertyville (5-9) didn't need her to carry the scoring load, as 11 of the 13 players Pedersen employed scored.
"We want more than 9 (shots) out of her," said Pedersen, whose girls play Prairie Ridge at 3:30 p.m. today.
Libertyville's 62 points represented a season high. The Wildcats hadn't even scored 50 points in a game. They got a lot of baskets either in transition or off Grant turnovers.
"It was nice to get up and down and stretch our legs after the holiday break," Pedersen said. "We were concerned because we had three straight days off with Sunday and then the two holiday days. But in a way, maybe it worked out well for us in that we got a little bit of a layoff and got to rest up. We played really hard today.
"We need our defense to create our offense," Pedersen added. "We've had plenty of games where we've scored in the 30s, so this was a nice change for us."
Mayer's short jumper, after she grabbed an offensive rebound, had the Wildcats up 13-7 after one quarter. Mayer also sank a layup in the opening eight minutes, while Sydney Mudd buried a 3-pointer. A 3 from Rosie Lynch and a pair of inside buckets from Melissa Neutz (6 points), who played well coming off the bench, had Libertyville up 30-18 at halftime.
Mayer sank 3 shots in the third quarter, as Libertyville outscored Grant 15-6 to take a 45-24 advantage into the fourth.
"We've been working on zone offense all week," Mayer said. "I think we did a really good job of swinging the ball, doing side-top-side, getting the ball into the post and working the high-low. I think that's what got us a lot of open shots, and we were actually hitting them."
Libertyville forward Dana Kym posted game bests of 13 points and 9 rebounds. The 5-10 senior was on varsity last season but played limited minutes.
"She rebounds with a fury," Pedersen said. "She goes after the basketball. We need that out of her. She does a real nice job for us."
Grant (5-9) committed 37 turnovers in losing its fifth in a row. Kaylie Kanzler scored all of her team-high 7 points in the opening quarter. Deanna Rodriguez sank a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers for the Bulldogs, who play Hoffman Estates at noon today.
"We're in a funk," Grant coach Matt Lukemeyer said. "It's just been a lot of turnovers lately — basic basketball things that we've just gotten away from."
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