Maine West bolts past Vernon Hills
Thank you, Matt Belitto.
Vernon Hills' public address announcer delivered a hearty dose of levity in the first half of a girls basketball game Saturday afternoon, when it felt like Antarctica outside and COVID-19 continued to overstay its welcome everywhere.
"Guess the paid attendance at halftime," Belitto blared seriously from his scorer's table seat during a break in the action between Vernon Hills and visiting Maine West.
Somebody chuckled; maybe it was a referee. Another snickered; maybe it was an assistant coach.
The paid attendance: 0.
Maine West's offense needed only 1:39 of clock time to surpass that figure by 6, catapulting to a 6-0 lead on buckets by Jane Rothweiler, Jade Thomas and Angelina Ocampo. VH responded nicely after a timeout, but West's Warriors -- who defeated VH's Cougars 52-45 Friday night in Des Plaines -- limited the hosts to a scant 2 points in the third quarter and skipped to a 52-28 matinee victory.
"That program graduated a lot of really good players last year," VH coach Paul Brettner said of the Class 4A team that lost to eventual Class 4A state champion Fremd in a supersectional last winter. "But it didn't graduate pride or physicality or competitiveness.
"Maine West, "the coach added, "still plays as hard as any team does."
On Saturday, Warriors sophomore forward Jaclyn Riedl rebounded as well as the Willis Tower would have if the skyscraper had battled against a bunch of huts. A starter last year, the savvy, resolute 6-footer amassed a game-high 18 rebounds to go with a game-high 16 points. She erupted for 9 points in an 11-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter, expanding West's lead to 42-23.
"Jaclyn is hardworking in every aspect -- offense, defense, rebounding ... everything," Warriors coach Kim deMarigny said after her crew improved to 2-1, 2-0 in the Central Suburban League North. "Strong player, smart kid. She's in my accelerated geometry/trigonometry class.
"She's a coach's dream," the coach added.
Riedl's previous career-high board total in a game?
"Eight, maybe 10," she guessed afterward. "Rebounding is all about effort, about going after it."
Riedl netted half of Maine West's 8 points in the third frame. Her team's defense was the star of the 8 minutes. Vernon Hills sophomore guard Alexa Cieslinski (9 points, 5 rebounds) scored the Cougars' 2 points in the quarter.
"That inspired us, becoming a defensive threat again," deMarigny said.
Rothweiler grabbed 7 rebounds and scored all 7 of her points in the first half; teammates Brianna Hernandez and Aya Deiri scored 7 points apiece; and Thomas finished with 6 points and 4 rebounds.
VH junior guard CJ Leuck paced Vernon Hills (1-3, 1-2) with 10 points, and sophomore forward Kate Sear came down with a team-best 6 rebounds.