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BOYS BASKETBALL: LIBERTYVILLE 55, WARREN 35 Miracle shot highlights blowout

Libertyville's Jack Lipp (22) puts up shot over Warren's Dominic Cuevas (24) during second quarter Wednesday evening's game. | Brian

Libertyville's Jack Lipp (22) puts up a shot over Warren's Dominic Cuevas (24) during the second quarter of Wednesday evening's game. | Brian O'Mahoney/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 6, 2014 12:36PM

If somebody in the gym at Libertyville High School on Tuesday night had his/her iphone operating in video mode, Joe Borcia is going to be on YouTube today.

The 6-9 junior center is supposed to dominate in the paint and on the glass, and he did just that in his team’s 55-35 thumping of Warren in the North Suburban Conference Lake Division opener for both teams.

But what he did at the very end of the third quarter ... lucky? Yes. But a hustling play that turned into a miraculous play that was SportsCenter Top 10 plays-of-the-day worthy.

With Libertyville on offense, Borcia chased down a rebound that was headed for the stands, and while falling out of bounds, threw up a shot that went in.

The amazing three-pointer made it 40-20, so it lacked the dramatic element.

But the truth is, the drama was sucked out of this game in the second quarter when Libertyville outscored Warren 14-0 — yes, ZERO — to take a 28-10 halftime lead.

Warren (3-3) was 0-for-9 shooting with two turnovers in the quarter. James Betori hit a three-pointer for Warren at the first-quarter buzzer to make it 14-10. And Dominic Cuevas hit a trey for Warren 12 seconds into the third period .

In between.? Nothin’.

Warren was 4-for-24 shooting in the first half while Libertyville (5-0) was 12-of-25. The taller Cats had an 11-2 rebounding edge in the second quarter.

Borcia finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks and was 11-of-15 shooting from the field. Jack Lipp had 10 points and five assists, and Steve Braun had five points and 10 boards.
Warren played again without injured Adrian Deere (knee), and got 11 points from Cuevas.

“Give Libertyville a lot of credit. They played well. Borcia played well,” said Warren coach Ryan Webber. “They finish shots at the rim. The second quarter was the difference. You can’t have a quarter like that. It’s the self-inflicted stuff we have to stop.”

Meanwhile, Borcia already is thinking about next Wednesday’s game against Stevenson, which a favorite to win the Class 4A state title.

“We’re as confident as ever. We looked at this as a statement game, and I think we made a pretty good statement against a pretty good team,” he said. “We want Stevenson to know it’s not going to be a rollover against us. We’re ready to put up a big fight.

“Of course, it’s easier said than done against Jalen (Brunson). He’s one of the best players in the state. We’re going to have to make other players besides him and (Connor) Cashaw beat us. If somebody else scores 20, we’ll live with that.”

Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil has his team playing quality offense at one end and smothering defense at the other. That’s the million-dollar combination.

“I thought it started last year. We took our lumps, but we really went young,” he said. “I really think beating Mundelein here the last month of the season and beating Zion was big for our confidence.

“That propelled us into the summer and now into the season. So they’re a confident bunch. We always knew they had it in them, it was a matter of them believing it.

“But there’s a long way to go and a lot of tough games ahead, starting next week with Stevenson. That will be a huge early-season test for us.”

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