Kotzan, Ryan spark Libertyville to win over Lake Forest

Senior Night was a big night for a couple of seniors who start for Libertyville's girls basketball team.

Kristina Kotzan scored 11 points and Libby Ryan contributed with her defense as the Wildcats had a strong third quarter and then held off stingy Lake Forest 39-30 in a North Suburban Conference game in Libertyville on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (19-7, 10-2) had a 20-19 lead at halftime. Kotzan scored 5 points and Kate Rule (game-high 13 points) added a pair of 3-pointers as Libertyville took a 34-22 lead into the final quarter.

"It was a team effort and not a one-person game," Kotzan said. "Everyone got open, I set screens for Emily (Fisher) and other people set screens for me. We're just a third-quarter team and just find ways to play well in that quarter all year."

Libertyville was ready for the rematch against Lake Forest and expected it to be a tough one.

"We were very energetic, and the team was very excited for this game." Kotzan said. "We were really prepared for this game and wanted to come out with a win."

The Wildcats had to hold off the visitors in the final quarter. The Scouts (15-11, 6-5) cut the margin under 10 but Maryland recruit Fisher took over with 9 points and 14 rebounds,

"(Lake Forest) can beat us," Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen said. "It's a 50/50 game when we play them. We were fortunate to beat them twice this year. Our kids were just resilient here in this one and we got the defensive stops when we needed them."

Lake Forest was led by Bella Ronallo with 9 points and Rachel Kaus added 7 and pulled down 12 boards.

"I thought we got ourselves into a rut offensively (in the third quarter)," Lake Forest coach Stacey Leach said. "We stopped scoring, but we did a good job in the fourth quarter with a couple of steals and got on a little run. It was just not enough. Libertyville is long and they have a lot of length, and they are athletic. It just causes a lot of problems."

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