Vernon Hills' girls basketball team will defend its North Suburban Conference championship after holding off host Grant 59-46 in the two teams' NSC Prairie Division finale Friday night.
The Cougars (21-5) finished 10-2 in the NSC Prairie, tying Antioch for the championship. By virtue of beating the Sequoits twice in as many games, Vernon Hills will play in the conference championship for the third year in a row.
Last season, the Cougars defeated Zion-Benton to become the first team from the Prairie to win the NSC title. Vernon Hills will host either Stevenson or Zion-Benton next Wednesday.
Sydney Smith had 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for Vernon Hills, while Lauren Webb added 17 points and 5 boards. The Cougars led 36-16 at halftime, but Grant (10-15, 6-6) got within three, outscoring the visitors 23-8 in the third. Vernon Hills then came back and built its lead back to double digits.
"Coach (Matt) Lukemeyer did a great job making adjustments for the second half," Cougars coach Paul Brettner said.
Kasey Firnbach had 8 points and 4 rebounds for Vernon Hills, and Haley Lieberman contributed 7 points.
Grant received 17 points from Jasmine Sangster and 12 from Kaylie Kanzler.
Stevenson 57, Lake Forest 50: The Patriots' fifth win in a row set up a first-place showdown with Zion-Benton in Lincolnshire tonight.
Stevenson (20-7, 10-1), which hit 20 wins for the fifth time in Tom Dineen's five seasons as coach, and Zion-Benton each have 1 loss in the North Suburban Lake Division.
Against Lake Forest, Taylor Buford led Stevenson with 18 points, while Jessica Burke added a season-high 11.
Lake Forest's Annie Keller led all scorers with 21 points.
Mundelein 50, Lake Zurich 36: The Mustangs honored seniors Lauren Rouse and Taylor Lintner and then went out and pulled out the North Suburban Lake win over what coach Brian Evans called a "scrappy" Bears squad.
Mundelein (19-8), which finished with an 8-4 record in the division, was led by Natalie Busscher's 17 points. She got offensive help from Jamie Hemmer (12 points) and Maggie Mahar (9). Both Busscher and Mahar sank 3-pointers.
Lake Zurich (6-17, 2-9) received 11 points from Abby Pirron. Elly Daleske scored 7 points.
Grayslake North 64, Woodstock 33: The visiting Knights maintained their first-place spot in the Fox Valley Fox Division, as Kendall Detweiler's game-high 19 points led three players in double figures.
Brittney Thibeaux and Maggie Fish added 16 and 12, respectively, for Grayslake North (18-8, 10-1).
North Chicago 42, Wauconda 37: The host Bulldogs played tough in their North Suburban Prairie finale.
Lauren Nee had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals for Wauconda (10-12, 5-7). Maddie Gaschler added 8 points for the Bulldogs.
Samantha Rodriguez scored 16 points for North Chicago, and Tineesha Coleman had 11.
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