This time, Lake Forest meets Mundeleins challenge
Mundelein girls basketball coach Brian Evans knew his team faced a scary scenario similar to what the boys team just experienced Friday night.
Evans watched as Libertyville avenged a 36-point loss against the Mustangs' boys. Now his 16th-seeded team was opening Class 4A regional play at home against an 18th-seeded Lake Forest team it beat by 28 points three weeks ago.
But Lake Forest (8-21) avenged that loss and another early in the season by 2 points by holding on for 36-33 quarterfinal victory Monday night.
"We just played with no intensity," Evans said as he alluded to the boys' 87-80 loss on Friday. "That's exactly what it felt like tonight. Lake Forest came out inspired and took away what I would have taken away if you're playing us.
"The more the game went on you could see Lake Forest playing with more confidence and us playing with less confidence. We didn't play with aggression defensively or offensively."
As a result, second-year Lake Forest coach Kyle Wilhelm gets to bring his team back to his old stomping grounds, where his dad Perry is the athletic director. Waiting will be top-seeded Rolling Meadows (24-3) in the 6 p.m. regional semifinal with No. 8 Hersey and No. 9 Warren playing at 7:30 p.m.
"To have a shot at playing a team like that, we'll do our film homework and get ready to give Rolling Meadows a game (today)," Kyle Wilhelm said with a smile.
Finally getting some shots to drop after starting off 5-for-31 from the field led the Scouts to their first postseason win since 2009. They made 10 of their last 15 from the floor and a rebound basket by 6-foot-2 junior Kate Arnson with 6:52 left started a 6-point run that put them ahead to stay at 30-24.
And the Scouts didn't get hurt in transition this time as the Mustangs (10-17) committed 25 turnovers, shot 26.7 percent from the field (12-for-45) and went 1-for-17 on 3-pointers.
"I felt a lot of their shots were more contested and under duress than the last time we played," Wilhelm said of the Scouts' 61-33 loss.
"The last time we played them we hit everything," Evans said. "A lot of the shots we had tonight we weren't hitting and that had a lot to do with their defense."
Mundelein got within 30-29 on Emily Panitch's drive off a turnover at 3:52, but Lake Forest answered with a steal and layup by 5-9 sophomore point guard Brooke Green at 2:59. Green had team highs of 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists even though she was battling the flu.
Junior Lauren Rouse (15 points on 6-for-11 shooting) scored off 1 of her 10 rebounds at 2:48 to get Mundelein within 32-31 but Gabby Perino and Grace Torkelson each hit 2 free throws for Lake Forest. Maggie Mahar (8 points) scored off a miss with 12.6 seconds left and a turnover gave Mundelein a chance to force overtime, but a long 3-point attempt was short at the buzzer.
"When we made a run their kids didn't fold," Evans said.
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