2017-'18 Season Coverage
posted: 12/7/2013 12:01 AM

Vernon Hills shoots past Round Lake

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At the end of the third quarter Friday night, the public address announcer at Round Lake reminded fans that, indeed, it was the end of only the third quarter.

Because Vernon Hills had put up 70 points by then, it almost seemed like it could have been the end of the game.

The Cougars, hot from 3-point range from start to finish, kept scoring at a torrid pace in the fourth quarter en route to an 88-66 victory over Round Lake in the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division opener for both teams.

Vernon Hills, which set a school record for total points in a game in moving to 5-1 on the season, drained 14-of-24 3-pointers. Interestingly, the Cougars hit 12-of-18 3-pointers in a win at Round Lake last year.

"I guess we just like to shoot here. Good rims," said Vernon Hills junior guard Robby Nardini, who hit three 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 20 points. "We make a lot of threes. We shoot a lot of threes. I think we're really good shooters, and when we're making them, it's all good."

Michael Mariella (16 points) led Vernon Hills with four 3-pointers. Sam Rattner came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers and Bo Manso added two 3-pointers.

"We shot the ball really well," said Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty, who also got 10 points out of Matt Weaver and 9 points apiece out of Cory Levin and Rattner. "We were forcing some in the first quarter, but we started sharing the ball more, and got more threes off of kick-outs. We were looking for guys off of dribble penetration so I liked our shot selection after the first quarter.

"We have some really good three-point shooters, so we're going to continue to emphasize 'drive and kick.'"

Vernon Hills extended a 7-point first-quarter lead to 13 points by halftime. But it was that hot third-quarter that really put the game out of reach.

The Cougars hit 9-of-14 shots in the third quarter, including 4-of-5 3-pointers to take a 70-47 lead into the final period.

"There really wasn't anything we could do. They had the hot hand," said Round Lake senior guard Karnell Wright, who scored a team-high 20 points and hit two 3-pointers himself. "They just kept hitting threes. That got real, real frustrating.

"We tried hard. We played hard. We were trying hard on defense, but it didn't work out too well."

Round Lake, down by as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter, also got double-figures out of Michael Green. He had 13 points. Robert Pisarski added 9 points.

"Our guys played hard, we've just got to be better," said Round Lake coach Jeremy Fisher, whose team drops to 1-5 on the season. "We didn't do a good job of stopping penetration and that allowed them to find open shooters. And they seem to really love shooting here."

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