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Mustangs Kick Lake Zurich Boys Basketball in Overtime

Team loses to Mundelein 68-65 in a nail-biter; girls team defeats Zion-Benton 52-43

Even though the  boys basketball team is winning more close contests than they were a year ago, they're still not going to win them all. Tuesday night’s 68-65 overtime loss to Mundelein was a tough lesson that on some nights, you are going to come up short. Nonetheless, it was a thriller of a game.

Mirko Grcic’s attempt at a 3-pointer from the left side to tie it at the buzzer was unsuccessful, and the Bears ended up suffering a tough loss to their conference rivals.

Lake Zurich led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a Grcic 3-pointer that did make it, a 25-foot fade-away at the buzzer. But the Mustangs stayed close in the second quarter and eventually took the lead.

Lake Zurich held the ball for the final minute of the first half. Doug Murphy was fouled as he took the last shot before halftime, which he missed. Unfortunately, he also missed both free throws, and the Bears went into the locker room down 28-26.

The contest got really interesting during the last two minutes of the game with the Bears trailing Mundelein by 6 points. Ryan Roach hit three consecutive 3-pointers, but Lake Zurich fouled the Mustangs four times, and they went 6 of 8 from the line, leaving the Bears down by 3.

Mike Travlos missed from 3-point range, but O’Brien rebounded and hit a tres from the left wing to tie the game and send it into overtime.

After Mundelein’s Cliff Dunnigan hit for the first basket in the overtime period, O’Brien connected for another 3-pointer. The Bears were unable to sink several shots down the final stretch, however, while the Mustangs made some difficult baskets, and they led by 3 with 8.6 seconds remaining.

That set the stage for Grcic’s attempt to propel the game into a second overtime, but it did not happen.

“We played extremely hard and never gave up,” said Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher. “I am really proud of our kids, and we should have a lot of confidence after our performance.”

Bears Pause:  Lake Zurich is now 10-6 this season and 3-4 in conference play. They have lost back-to-back conference games to Lake Forest and Mundelein. The Bears home game against Warren, which was postponed last Friday due to the snowstorm, has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at home.

Next Up: Lake Zurich hosts Libertyville at 7:30 p.m. Friday. They then travel to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee for a contest against Johnsburg at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Lake Zurich girls basketball team improved to 14-8 when they defeated Zion-Benton 52-43 on Saturday. That’s quite a turnaround from last season, when the Bears lost three times to the Zee-Bees.

Leading 31-11 in the second half, Lake Zurich eased up as the game progressed, although the final score does not reflect just how dominant they were throughout most of the contest.

Katherine Anderson paced Lake Zurich with 16 points. In the last 25 seconds of the first quarter, she scored 6 points by nailing consecutive 3-pointers.

The Zee-Bees made it more interesting in the second half, as the Bears’ lead shrank from 20 points to 6. With Lake Zurich up 43-37 with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Cathryne Spear’s layup slowed down the Zee-Bees’ comeback.

Bears Pause: Dori Darras scored 8 points for Lake Zurich, Spear
had 7, Stephanie Schmid scored 6 and Christina Sandstedt had 5.

Next Up: The Bears host Fenwick Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and travel to Stevenson for a 7 p.m. game on Jan. 31.

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