Girls Basketball: Zion-Benton’s late run downs Vernon Hills
Updated: February 2, 2012 9:41PM
Zion-Benton scored the game’s final 14 points as the Zee-Bees stunned highly-regarded Vernon Hills 51-37 on Thursday night.
Vernon Hills (20-4) didn’t look like a Class 3A power after Meri Bennett-Swanson’s bucket tied it with 5:40 left in the game.
The rest of the way, the Cougars were out of sorts, as they turned the ball over nine times in the fourth quarter and got off only six shots.
“We look forward to games like this. It’s going to make us a better basketball team,” said Cougars coach Paul Brettner. “We played well for three and a half quarters. When they turned up the pressure, we didn’t respond very well, but heading into the postseason, this is a good game to have under our belts.”
This was only the third close game the Cougars have played all season, and they’ve lost them all.
Zion-Benton’s Sam Rodriguez had 10 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter.
The Zee-Bees (16-8) are a Class 4A team, but not the club the finished second in state last year.
“This was a huge win for our team,” said Z-B coach Tanya Johnson. “I think during that stretch we went through with the games during exam week and the makeup games (due to a teachers strike), we lost a little of our edge.
“Tonight, I’m the most proud that I’ve been since Christmas. They played hard for all 32 minutes. I’m hoping that this carries over to our remaining games.”
Octavia Crump added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Zion.
Sydney Smith had 15 points and Bennett-Swanson 11 in the loss.
For the game, Zion was 22-of-58 and Vernon Hills was 15-of-44.