Libertyville dominates boards, beats Maine West

Will Buchert can find the holes for Libertyville.

Buchert slid between 6-foot-6 Cole Bonder and 6-6 Aidyn Boone to pick up 13 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end. Buchert also finished with 13 points.

That scrappy play typified Libertyville in their 72-44 win over Maine West in the opening round Tuesday of the 44th annual Wheeling Hardwood Classic.

"It is like magic," said Buchert, who is six-feet tall. "I can track the ball pretty. Cole and Aidyn clear out bodies and give me room and I just pick off the ball."

With Buchert leading the way on the boards, Libertyville (10-3) out-rebounded Maine West 26-1 in the first half. Maine West did not get its first rebound until there were six seconds remaining in the first half.

"When you have guys like Will Buchert, getting offensive rebounds it goes pretty well for you," said Libertyville coach Brian Zyrkowski, who picked up his 100th career win.

"As well as everyone else. They all got the ball really well."

Libertyville out rebounded Maine West 41-9 for the game. The Wildcats scored the game's first eight points. They built a 23-11 lead, scoring 16 second chance points.

"It is all about finding the open guys," said Bonder, who had 15 points and five rebounds. "They found me back. Everyone was sharing the ball and that is when we are at our best."

Boone, who led with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting, said his team had energy despite the 10:30 a.m. start.

"We had to come out with some energy," Boone said. "It was definitely an early game. It was definitely an early day. It was rough. I just felt it today. I knew my teammates would find me. They have total faith in my shot."

Libertyville also got seven points from Kyle Carollo and six points from Henry Eads.

Maine West (2-11) was led by Tre Hines who had nine points and David Hutchinson who had eight points.

"We have to come out more mentally prepared," Maine West coach Dan Paxton said. "It was ugly on the boards. We knew they were big. We just didn't execute that in the defensive end."

Hampshire 45, St. Viator 33:

Hampshire (9-6) knocked down nine 3-pointers to cruise to the win. Dayvion Ellis led Viator (5-8) with 13 points while Eli Aldana had nine points.

Neuqua Valley 52, Buffalo Grove 46:

Neuqua (10-2) won its eighth straight by rallying from a 39-36 third quarter deficit. Jack Lendino led the Wildcats with 13 points and 7 rebounds while Jack Doherty and Luke Kinkade each had 12 points, Buffalo Grove (5-7) was led by Connor Woodin who had 26 points including six 3-pointers. Kyle Grove added seven points for the Bison.

Prospect 66, Niles North 54:

Leading by five at the half, Prospect (6-6) used a huge third quarter to pull away. Alex Georgakas and Frankie Poshnjari each had 13 points to lead Prospect. Drew Terpins added 11 points for the Knights.

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