Deerfield downs Vernon Hills
Consistency continues to be an issue for Vernon Hills' boys basketball team.
The Cougars have shown they can compete against most teams but haven't always been able to sustain it for a full 32 minutes.
Vernon Hills tried to keep its energy up against host Deerfield on Friday night but suffered a 52-34 loss in a Central Suburban League North Division matchup.
Ryan Jacobson led the Cougars (5-13, 0-6) with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Deerfield's 6-foot-9 Jackson Kenyon had a career-high 23 points and 6 rebounds for the Warriors (11-8, 5-1), while 6-10 Brandon Lieb added 14 points and 9 boards.
"Our first quarter, second quarter and third quarter was our game plan," Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty said. "We started the second quarter with four really good possessions, but the ball just wouldn't drop. That's what I envisioned for four quarters. It was just being inconsistent, especially in that second quarter. It was ether a putback by (Deerfield) or a turnover which led to a run-out. We just couldn't put it all together to make a run down the stretch. I still like the way some of the guys played."
Vernon Hills started well and led 11-7 after first eight minutes. But the Warriors took over in the second quarter as they outscored the Cougars 11-2 to take a 22-9 lead at the break.
The Cougars found some momentum in the second half. Jacobson scored 9 points in the third quarter but the visitors trailed 38-20 heading into the fourth.
"I thought down low we played better," Jacobson said. "But they hurt us with more shots than the last time around (a 40-26 loss on Nov. 30). When you play a bigger and more experienced team, it really makes it tough."
Joey Levitan hit a 3-pointer to get Vernon Hills within 39-27 with 5:20 left, but the Cougars got no closer.
"I thought we did a nice job, especially defensively, and that's our calling card right now," Deerfield coach Dan McKendrick said. "Our kids are doing a good job hustling around and making it difficult for teams to find an open look. We were better tonight than we've been recently on the defensive glass, which is a good thing."