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Eye on Libertyville High School Sports

Libertyville's Griffin Pils has a special night on the basketball court; Wildcats hire longtime assistant Mike Jones to guide the football team.

Since players so rarely score 40 or more points in a basketball game, it is hard to figure out the best way to tally that many points in a high school contest. Twenty in the first half and 20 in the second half would be the most balanced approach.

 senior Griffin Pils did not score a single point for 15 minutes of Saturday's game against Carmel. The Wildcats had to go to overtime to trip the Corsairs 83-77. When the first half expired, Pils was up to 5 points. That is because he drained two free throws and hit a 3-pointer with two seconds to play.

"In the first half, I was trying to get everyone involved,'' Pils said.

That little 5-point run by Pils did help because his Wildcats were getting handled by Carmel. A minute earlier, the Wildcats trailed by 16 points at 37-21.

Maybe at halftime, Pils realized he had to do more than pass the ball.

In the next 20 minutes, Pils scored 35 points. He had a monstrous second half and overtime. Amazingly, he made 19 of 19 free throws. He still had just 12 points heading to the fourth quarter. Pils would score 20 points in the fourth quarter alone. That included three consecutive 3-pointers and three free throws in a row with two seconds to play in regulation.

"The shots kept falling,'' Pils said. "I was in a zone."

In overtime, Pils hit eight straight free throws.

Yes, that is something he can tell his grandchildren about when the time comes.

New Football Coach: By Briant Kelly's count, more than 100 applications came in for the football coach opening at Libertyville. The Libertyville High School athletics director checked them out to find out that his best applicant had been on the Libertyville sidelines for nearly a decade. He is defensive coordinator , who will replace the retiring .

"Mike has done a great job since coming on board in 2004,'' Kuceyeski said. "He is well-organized, hardworking, and has the respect of his players. He has always been willing to do the extra things that I have asked of him, especially over the past seven months. He will definitely carry on the pride and tradition of our program. I wish him the best of luck."

Jones teaches math at Libertyville, just as he did at Grayslake High School. He spent 13 years coaching football and baseball for the Rams. That's where he ran into Sean Ferrell. This former Grayslake coach also will be on Jones' staff next fall.

"I am extremely happy for Mike to lead our football program,'' Ferrell said. "I have worked with him for 15 years both at Grayslake and Libertyville. He has aspired to be a head coach for a long time and worked extremely hard to reach his goal."

Ferrell knows Jones will be ready for the 2012 season.

"I do not know anyone more prepared than Mike for this position,'' he said. "He has a great understanding of the game, prepares meticulously, and leads with a passion that transcends to those around him. It’s nice to see someone work hard, do the right things, and achieve their goal. I am excited for him and excited to work with him.”

Ice Cats Hockey: It's Fan Appreciation Night at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The place to be is the Glacier Ice Arena. There will be no charge to the game. And there's more. Fans will receive Icecats Stadium Cups, and after the second period, free pizza will be served. The team also is looking for incoming freshman hockey players or current players who would like to join the Icecats. Each of those players will receive a T-shirt.

Attendees to this game will be asked to bring a donation of canned goods for the Libertyville Township Pantry, the local food bank.

The Cats need those fans to cheer during this match with C.C.M. Tigers High School Hockey Club. On senior night, the Icecats dropped a 4-0 decision to Carmel.

Girls Bowling: On Tuesday night, Libertyville senior Sue Vachula had a strong night as her Wildcats beat Lakes. Vachula rolled games of 200, 215 and 212 for a strong 627 series. Ashley Babetch helped out with a 520 series.

On Wednesday night, the Wildcats dropped a tight match to Vernon Hills. Babetch led the way with a 554 series. Also helping out were Natalie Zeng (492), Sam Voelker (457), Kayla Gibbs (447) and Vachula (444).

The girls head for the NSC Tournament at Vernon Hills on Friday.

Boys Bowling: Official good luck to Jake Thompson as he heads for the state bowling tournament this weekend.

Girls Basketball: Evidently, this team wasn't so happy after dropping a game at Glenbrook South on Monday. The Wildcats (17-6) went out Wednesday night and walloped a good Carmel squad 56-28. The Corsairs had won four games in a row before this loss. Alex Haley had a strong game with 23 points. Olivia Mayer added 10 points.

Wrestling: This team is right on schedule. After dropping a tough NSC Match to Warren, the Wildcats won a quad at Lyons on Saturday. Steve Polakowski had a good day at 113. He won three matches — 13-4, 15-2 and 18-3. Libertyville stopped DeKalb, Lyons and Conant. Pat Fitzgerald also won three matches. His most impressive win was 18-3 over Conant. Kane MacCaullum (152) had wins of 13-2, 16-0 and 10-5.

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