Neither senior Abby Springer nor sophomore Lauren Webb is taking history at Vernon Hills High School this semester.
They helped make it, instead on the basketball court Thursday night.
Springer, a guard, finished with 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 steals and 2 late free throws, and Webb, a 6-foot forward, poured in all 12 of her points in the second half of Vernon Hills' 40-33 defeat of visiting Antioch in a Class 3A regional championship game.
It was the program's first regional title in school history.
The school turned 12 years old last fall.
Paul Brettner has served as the Cougars' girls coach since the school's birth.
VH (23-5) will play Carmel at 8:10 p.m. Tuesday in a St. Viator sectional semifinal in Arlington Heights. Carmel edged Richmond-Burton 31-29 in its regional championship Thursday night.
"Our girls - They held it together at the end," said Brettner, whose girls beat Antioch 68-30 and 56-39 in the teams' first two meetings this winter.
"You know what they say about beating a team three times in a season," he added. "It's true; it really is. Antioch made it tough for us."
VH made things look easy early Thursday night, scoring the first 10 points. Antioch (15-14) netted its first points on a Paige Gallimore bucket at 2:39 of the first quarter.
Coach Tim Borries' Sequoits then limited VH to 5 points in the second frame and trailed only 15-13 at the break.
"We knew Vernon Hills had height on us, and we knew we had to play hard at both ends of the court," Borries said.
"Our girls didn't give up, didn't let up."
His girls led 16-15, on junior guard Megan Borries' 3-pointer in the first minute of the third quarter.
But Webb, a reserve, tallied 5 straight points, 2 via free throws, and the hosts opened a 22-16 advantage after junior center Meri Bennett-Swanson completed a key 7-0 run with a field goal.
Bennett-Swanson's night, in a word: grand.
She needed 8 points to reach 1,000 career points.
She scored 8 points.
VH led by that margin late in the third quarter, when sophomore forward Sydney Smith struck for a basket at 1:01. She then drove for a layup, after a pass from Webb.
Brettner's bunch led 31-21 after three quarters.
"We played together well as a team, and our defense came up huge," said Springer. "We used so many defenses tonight. Five, I think. And that kept us on our toes."
VH names its defenses after colors. The five used on Thursday night: purple, yellow, green, silver and pink.
Webb was tickled pink afterward.
"Huge - this was so huge, winning this game tonight," she said, with what had to be the widest smile in Lake County.
Webb's biggest basket of the night came at 6:08 of the fourth quarter.
Or a few seconds after she had reentered. Her only trey of the championship swelled VH's lead to 34-24.
"Lauren," Brettner said, "does such a good job when she's aggressive; she was that tonight. And she hit some clutch baskets."
But so did Antioch's resilient Sequoits, especially senior guard Lindsey Gofron (11 points). A Gofron 3-pointer cut the Cougars' fourth-quarter lead to 34-31, at 1:35.
Springer, following a timeout, then fired a pass to Smith (11 points), whose final field goal of the night returned the gap to a fairly comfy five points.
Webb and Springer each hit a pair of free throws in the final 38 seconds.
"Vernon Hills is a very good team, and Paul does such a good job with his players," said Borries, the coach. "That team - It has everything. But I can't say enough good things about how hard our girls played, how well they battled after falling behind by so many points."
Borries, the player, finished with 8 points. Gallimore came down with a game-high 9 rebounds, 6 in the first quarter.
Senior guard Julie Pecht scored 7 points for VH.
West Chicago 48, Conant 39: Claire Monroe says she is just following in the footsteps of her older sister Kelsey.
The West Chicago 5-foot-5 senior guard made her sibling proud on Thursday night in Hoffman Estates against No. 15 seeded Conant, which hosted the Class 4A regional title game.
Monroe tossed in game-high 19 points as West Chicago posted a 48-39 victory and captured its first regional title since Kelsey helped steer the Wildcats to one in 2007.
Kelsey, who wrapped up her career at Elmhurst College last year, finished at West Chicago as its all-time leading scorer.
But with more than 1,200 points, Claire took over that title this season.
"We always tell Claire she has gotten a lot of individual records for the program but winning a regional is a team thing and something she'll always remember," said Wildcats coach Kim Wallner, who fans also will remember as the all-time leading scorer for Schaumburg High School where she graduated in 1980.
No. 5 West Chicago (16-12) advanced to the Hoffman Estates sectional and will face No. 1 Bartlett (28-1) in Monday's 6 p.m. semifinal.
Antioch Community High School
Vernon Hills High School
Conference: North Suburban Prairie
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