Shooting 3-pointers -- and making them -- is getting to be routine for Robby Nardini and the Vernon Hills boys basketball team.
Nardini dropped in three of them in the opening quarter on Saturday night. He finished with 4 and tied his career high with 27 points, which he first reached Wednesday against Lakes.
"I just come out ready to play," Nardini said. "I just keep shooting. If I feel good in warm-ups, I might want to shoot more. I do like the 3-ball.
"My teammates are the ones setting me up with a lot of kick-outs for the open 3's."
The Cougars collectively made 12 three-pointers, with Mike Mariella (12 points) canning four of them and Bo Manso (10 points) coming off the bench to hit a pair. Matt Weaver (9 points and 8 rebounds) and Sam Rattner dropped in the others as Vernon Hills shot past host Antioch 68-52 in a North Suburban Prairie Division game.
"We got off to a nice start," Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty said. "The 3's were coming off penetrating -- kick-outs, sharing the ball. Robby was playing very well. He would make a shot or get to the free throw line."
The Cougars (7-1, 3-0 NSC Prairie) led from the start to the finish and jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Antioch (2-5, 0-3) scored its first basket more than three minutes into the game.
The Sequoits, however, soon found the range and made four straight 3-pointers. Anthony Marsiglio dropped in three of his four from long range on his way to a team-best 18 points, and Hamza Adellatif (15 points) hit a 3 with 2:12 left in the period that cut the lead to 16-12.
"Falling behind by that much was a big hole to climb out of," Antioch coach Jim White said. "I'm still proud of my guys with the way they played for the rest of the game. They played with energy out there.
"We just have to play more aggressive out there. Our defense is coming along."
Vernon Hills closed out the first quarter with 5 straight points to lead 21-12. The Cougars led 36-26 at the half.
In the third quarter, Vernon Hills got more 3's from Nardini, Mariella and Manso. While that was happending, Antioch lost its shooting touch and shot 5-for-19 (26 percent). The Cougars held a 49-37 lead after three quarters.
"A road win on a Saturday night in December? We'll take it," McCarty said. "I thought the kids practiced well this past week and it showed in this one."