Girls Basketball: Vernon Hills downs Mundelein to take 5th in tourney
Updated: December 22, 2011 6:16PM
Mundelein couldn’t find an answer to Vernon Hill’s size in the paint, losing the fifth-place game of its own holiday tournament, 50-39, on Thursday morning.
Vernon Hills’ center Meri Bennett-Swanson’s hard work under the rim keyed the Cougars’ early 15-point lead as she scored the team’s first eight points.
Mundelein’s perimeter shooting sputtered from the onset as Vernon Hills (13-2) proved to have too much size, clogging the shooting lanes.
“Mundelein defended well,” Vernon Hills head coach Paul Brettner said. “We were able to hit a few shots early. It’s nice to get those transitional points and the tough ones under the bucket.”
Vernon Hills’ sophomores Sydney Smith and Lauren Webb provided a spark when Bennett-Swanson was on the bench with foul trouble. The two underclassmen scored 15 of the team’s 17 second-quarter points to help the Cougars’ maintain a 12-point edge at halftime.
The Mustangs (3-7) made an 8-point run of their own to pull within six in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough.
Smith said the team did well in maintaining their composure and sticking to the game plan.
“We were really playing well together, as a team,” she said. “We fought hard. We were boxing out aggressively.
“We are progressing,” she added.
Smith and Webb finished with 12 points apiece.
Mundelein freshman Natalie Busscher finished with 14 points.
“We expect a lot out of our sophomores,” Brettner said. “They have played consistently, shown a nose for the ball and have been doing the little things well for this team.”