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The Lake Forest Leader 021617

30 | February 16, 2017 |

30 | February 16, 2017 | The lake forest leader sports After conference wins, Scouts fall to unbeaten Fremd Derek Wolff, Sports Editor With the IHSA seeding process looming in the foreground, Lake Forest looked to turn the corner before postseason play. After garnering backto-back wins over conference opponents the Scouts ran into a buzz saw on Saturday, Feb. 11, in a 51-33 loss to unbeaten Fremd at Deerfield High School in the Horseshoe Shootout, a one-day showcase of eight teams from northern Illinois and Wisconsin. The Scouts had a quick turnaround for the Saturday matinee after defeating Lake Zurich, 61-53, on Friday night. Fremd (24-0) got out to an early 11-2 lead but the Scouts battled back to within three after an emphatic dunk from senior forward Brian Stickler. The Vikings controlled possession and recovered to go on a 6-0 run to conclude the first quarter up 17-6 however, then capitalized on that momentum in a sluggish second quarter for both sides. Fremd limited Lake Forest to just five points in the second quarter to take a 25-13 lead at the half. “They hit some big shots in that first half that really got them going,” Scouts coach Phil LaScala said. “They hit some contested 3s so I wasn’t disappointed with our defense, they’re just a really good team for a reason. They move the ball really well and share it, they have five guys who can really score. They did a good job.” The Vikings pulled away in the second half and limited Lake Forest’s scoring opportunities in the post. “We tried to go inside on them,” LaScala said. “That was our plan but we missed some good opportunities. In that second quarter, we had a lot of drives where we’d just throw it up there and it just rimmed out.” The Vikings were content to hold the ball in a possession-fueled fourth quarter, where the Scouts were never within range to foul at a healthy pace. Fremd forward Kyle Sliwa had a game-high 16 points, while Shaan Patel added 10. Luke Schoffstall had nine. On Friday night, Lake Forest pulled off the upset win over Lake Zurich (17-7, 4-6) thanks to big performances from a pair of seniors. Stickler had a team-high 20 points, while guard Justin McMahon added 15. The Scouts (9-16, 4-6) also defeated Northern Suburban Conference rivals Libertyville earlier in the week on Feb. 7 in a 53-43 contest at Libertyville. Stickler led the team with 17 points, while Reed Thomas and Mead Payne both had eight. As of press time, Lake Forest’s seed in the postseason had not yet been determined. The Scouts host Mundelein on Friday, then travel to Waukegan on Wednesday, Feb. 22, to finish out the regular season. They’ll play their first postseason game in regional action on Feb. 27. LaScala said ball management, rebound control and limiting turnovers would be the team’s focus in the remaining contests before postseason play begins. Justin McMahon dribbles up court. VARSITY VIEWS “We have to take care of the ball and limit turnovers VARSITY to somewhere VIEWS in the seven to eight range,” LaScala said. “We have to limit teams to one shot and out and defend. If we do that I think we’ll be in a good spot and good things will happen. “We’re starting to do a better job of attacking the basket inside and I think we’ll start to knock down shots. Guys won’t be guarded so tightly on the corner.” Lake Forest’s Connor Hanecamp puts up a shot during the Scouts’ 61-53 win over Lake Zurich on Friday, Feb. 10, in Lake Forest. Varsity Views Reed Thomas (30) looks to establish position in the post. sports the lake forest leader | February 16, 2017 | 31 Words From Wolff Super Bowl latest reason to never give up 1st-and-3 Stars of the week Varsity Views 1. Brian Stickler (ABOVE). The senior forward was the leading scorer for the Lake Forest High School boys basketball team in a pair of conference wins over Libertyville and Lake Zurich, big gains for the Scouts in a competitive North Suburban Conference. 2. Grace Tirzmalis. The sophomore girls basketball player had a teamhigh 18 points to lead the Scouts to victory against Zion-Benton. 3. Delaney Williams. Williams had 14 points in the big conference win over Zion-Benton in a pivotal NSC matchup on Feb. 8 in Lake Forest. Derek Wolff I spent the majority of Super Bowl LI at a party downtown in River North, where I halfwatched a listless performance from the New England Patriots through the early goings of the fourth quarter. When Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal to cut the Atlanta Falcons’ lead to 28-12 with less than 10 minutes remaining, I’d seen enough. I didn’t have a dog in the fight and the game had been, by and large, a snoozefest. Like many people at the party I said my goodbyes, ordered a car back to my apartment in Wrigleyville and watched the latest miraculous sports comeback. I remember watching that kick sail through the uprights and saying aloud, ‘Man, it’s hard to see (New England) coming back from this.’ I was completely wrong, and that’s the beauty of sports; they’re never really over until the final whistle. There are so many moments in life in which we’re faced with adversity, yet athletic competition consistently, routinely offers us chances to overcome it and have a cathartic reaction to it. Both the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Cavaliers overcame trailing 3-1 in their championship series’ in 2016 to capture titles within their sports. In high school sports, come postseason a team is dealing with two main adversaries at all times; the opponent on the other side of the court, as well as the team’s given seed. A few weeks ago I wrote about how important it was to lock up a higher seed in the IHSA postseason races, since there’s a direct correlation between a higher seed and higher chance of success (duh). But at the same time, every year in every sport there seems to be a few teams that rise up from a lackluster regular season and woeful seed to make a run and challenge some of the top teams. The Highland Park girls basketball team drew the No. 20 seed in the IHSA Class 3A Libertyville Sectional for this year’s postseason and will begin their playoff quest with No. 13 Lakes in a contest The Lake Forest High School girls field hockey team overcame a disappointing finish to its 2015 season by capturing a state title in 2016. 22nd Century Media File Photo at Warren. The Giants, in my opinion, are better than that seed inclines you to believe. In my tenure working for The Lake Forest Leader and The Highland Park Landmark, one of the most memorable examples of a team that never gave up was the HPHS boys soccer team in late 2015. The Giants drew the No. 15 seed and looked like they would make an early exit, but after winning their first round game they stunned No. 2 seeded Barrington in enemey territory, then defeated Stevenson to claim a regional title in their third match. In the fourth game, they ran into a buzzsaw in a 3-1 loss to eventual state champions Libertyville in the Round of 32, but it was a memorable, magical run for a team that easily defied expectations and refused to bow out quietly. Getting so close to capturing a championship only to fall just short of expectations is another reality of the postseason, one the Atlanta Falcons must have felt in the aftermath of their stunning defeat in the big game. That feeling was also one in which the Lake Forest High School girls field hockey team was acutely, painfully aware of in 2015. The Scouts had title aspirations but fell in the semi-finals that year. In 2016, they roared back to defeat New Trier —backto-back champions in 2014 and 2015— to crown themselves as the best team in Illinois. Regardless of how bright or bleak a team’s fate looks heading into the postseason, we rejoice all the same with each new arrival, because that’s what sports brings us, a chance to shake things up and rewrite the script, a chance to make a mark on history. Tom Brady and his New England Patriots certainly did in Super Bowl LI, which should be an inspiring performance for any athlete across any sport this high school postseason. In the games to come, that vigorous hope will drive whoever winds up capturing state titles across each sport. Athletes in this area certainly have what it takes. Listen Up “I’ve made significant improvement since last year.” Quinn Dailey — The 132 pound wrestler speaks up about his performance during an IHSA Sectional from Barrington High School over the weekend. tune in What to watch this week GIRLS BASKETBALL: The Scouts look to capture a regional championship with a Friday night tilt. • Lake Forest vs. TBA, Friday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m., Warren High School Almond Campus, Gurnee. Index 27 - Athlete of the Year 26- Athlete of the Week Fastbreak is compiled by Sports Editor Derek Wolff. Send any questions or comments to