Girls Basketball: Grayslake Central holds off Vernon HillsVernon Hills' Meri Bennett-Swanson (center) shoots between Grayslake Central's Michelle Lettenmair (left) and Beth Arnold. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 29, 2011 9:25PM
The names and faces change, but the winning continues for Grayslake Central’s girls basketball team.
Tuesday night, the Rams fought off highly touted Vernon Hills 46-40 in a battle of the area’s two best Class 3A clubs.
The Rams are now 4-2, with losses to Class 4A powers Maine South and Libertyville at the prestigious Buffalo Grove tournament.
“We knew this was going to be a hardfought game and that we’d have to work on neutralizing their big girls,” said Rams coach Steve Ikenn. “We wanted to keep them from getting too comforable offensively because they’re a very talented offensive team.
“I thought we did a nice job.”
The Rams took the lead for good at 20-18 in a second quarter in which the Cougars were outscored 12-3.
It was 24-19 at halftime and biggest margin was nine at 38-29 after three quarters.
Vernon Hills (4-1) got 3-pointers from Julie Pecht and Sydney Smith to start the fourth quarter to make it 38-35, and the visitors whiffed on a chance to tie from the free-throw line at 42-40.
“We were looking forward to this game,” said Vernon Hills coach Paul Brettner. “It’s not a bad loss this early in the season. It showed us some of our weaknesses and things we need to work on.”
For the game, Smith led Vernon Hills in scoring with 14 points, while Lauren Webb had nine. Meri Bennett-Swanson took just three shots in the second half and finished with seven markers, though she grabed 11 boards.
For Grayslake, Skyler Jessop — the only starter back from last year’s Elite Eight team — had 16 points and Claire Brennan added 10. Jessop also had seven boards and six steals.