Short-handed Vernon Hills falls to Deerfield
Vernon Hills' boys basketball team tried to recover from a tough road loss on Friday night against Deerfield. But, playing without two of its starters left a void before the Cougars even got on the court Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars put forth a good effort in a 52-41 loss to visiting Deerfield in a Central Suburban League North matchup.
Vernon Hills (2-9, 2-4) junior Max Brusso, who is out for the season with a hip injury, and sophomore Milan Raval did not play Saturday.
"It did put some kinks in our machine losing Max, because he does so much for us," Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty said. "We're hoping he gets healthy and be ready for the baseball season. Also, Milan out with a family responsibility. You lose a couple of starters and you don't take care of business."
The Cougars had a 7-point lead with two minutes left on Friday and the Warriors came back to win the game on a last-second shot.
"We spend a lot of practice on end of game situations," McCarty said. "It's being smart and making pressure free throws and not being smart with the basketball down the stretch."
On Saturday, Deerfield (4-6, 4-2) jumped out to early lead and led from the start to finish. The Warriors hit nine 3-pointers for the game and built a 25-14 lead by the break. They held a double-digit lead in the second half. The Cougars cut the lead to 6 at one point in the third quarter.
"Second half, we had a goal to get it down to six," McCarty said. "Our offense was kind of stagnant today. Taking Max away, we were used to scoring 60 points and had only 40.
Justin St. Louis led Vernon Hills with 14 points and Erik Rimas added 11.
"It hard adjusting with new players in the starting lineup," St. Louis said. "I thought, we played good offense, but we lacked some effort on defense. Missing two of our best scorers, we can't let teams score 50 points against us."
Deerfield's Luke Woodson led the way for the Warriors with 11 points and Oliver Nitsun added 9 with three 3s.
"We showed a resiliency to come back with two minutes left (Friday)," Deerfield coach Dan McKendrick said. "It kind of carried us into this game. Obviously, there were other circumstances, because (Vernon Hills) was missing two players. We played who was on the floor and came away with the win."