Fisher, Libertyville roll past Lake Forest

At one point, Emily Fisher's stat line included more tumbles to the ground than points on Thursday night.

The Libertyville junior guard is accustomed to physical games, but Fisher is normally the player dishing out the punishment.

Fisher's struggles extended to her shooting, but in typical fashion for the durable and all-around player, she made up for any scoring issues by impacting the game in other ways against Lake Forest.

Fisher collected 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks to power Libertyville to a 43-30 victory over Lake Forest in North Suburban Conference girls basketball action.

The Wildcats (12-5, 5-1) overcame a lengthy break and the absence of coach Greg Pedersen to notch a rare win at Lake Forest, giving assistant coach Amy Holtsford a nice post-holiday gift. Sophomore guard Kate Rule scored a team-high 16 points and Kristina Kotzan played stellar defense, especially in the second half on Lake Forest junior guard Rachel Kaus. Kotzan tallied 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Fisher said she was happy to finally beat the Scouts (10-6, 2-3), who were led by Kaus' 15 points - all in the first half.

"It was bad and brutal and just a hard game, but I expect it from this team," Fisher said. "It's always been good competition, especially playing here. I've not won here until today, so it's a huge accomplishment for everybody and the program.

"My shot wasn't falling, so I tried to do whatever I could to contribute to the team, just find people the ball. We played great defense."

With Fisher, a Maryland recruit, running point on many second-half possessions, the Wildcats controlled the tempo and slowly added to their 23-20 halftime lead.

Fisher turned up her game in the second half, tallying 7 rebounds and even setting up a key 3-pointer by Libby Ryan (6 points). The 6-foot Fisher dodged two defenders near half-court, throwing the ball between the legs of a Lake Forest player, then whipping a pass to a wide open Ryan that padded Libertyville's lead to 38-28 with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"This was a really big win for us, especially in conference and at their place," Rule said. "We played with a lot of discipline and heart. It was great to get a win, even with coach out. We had good energy today. Even in an off night for Emily, she can make plays by getting assists and rebounds and other little things besides scoring. It was a great win for us."

The Scouts managed just 10 points in the second half, including just 5 points in the final 12-plus minutes.

"Lake Forest and Libertyville is a big rivalry, and I was happy to help my team with scoring in the first half, but they definitely switched their defense around in the second half and scoring was a lot tougher," Kaus said. "

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