Short-handed Vernon Hills falls to Deerfield

  • Deerfield's Luke Woodson guards Vernon Hills' Nick Heiser during boys basketball action on Saturday in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Luke Woodson guards Vernon Hills' Nick Heiser during boys basketball action on Saturday in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Deerfield's Zach Friedman moves the ball past Vernon Hills' Jack Sweeney  during boys basketball action Saturday in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Zach Friedman moves the ball past Vernon Hills' Jack Sweeney during boys basketball action Saturday in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, shoots over Deerfield's Quinn Halpern, 30, and Luke Woodson, 22, during  boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, shoots over Deerfield's Quinn Halpern, 30, and Luke Woodson, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Erik Rimas, gets called for a charge on his way past Deerfield's Cooper Venamore, 14, and Elliot Brockstein, 3,  during  boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Erik Rimas, gets called for a charge on his way past Deerfield's Cooper Venamore, 14, and Elliot Brockstein, 3, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Deerfield's Zach Friedman, 24, is guarded by Vernon Hills' Nick Heiser, 0, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Zach Friedman, 24, is guarded by Vernon Hills' Nick Heiser, 0, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Deerfield's  Elliot Brockstein, 3,  with a reverse layup against Vernon Hills during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Elliot Brockstein, 3, with a reverse layup against Vernon Hills during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Deerfield's Quinn Halpern, 30, tries to block a shot by Vernon Hills's Justin St. Louis, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Quinn Halpern, 30, tries to block a shot by Vernon Hills's Justin St. Louis, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Nick Heiser, 0, squeezes between Deerfield's Zach Friedman, 24, and Luke Woodson, 22, during  boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Nick Heiser, 0, squeezes between Deerfield's Zach Friedman, 24, and Luke Woodson, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Deerfield's Luke Woodson, 22, pushes a pass around Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Luke Woodson, 22, pushes a pass around Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Deerfield's Luke Woodson, 22, tries to get around Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Deerfield's Luke Woodson, 22, tries to get around Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Josiah McDonald, 23, moves the ball over Deerfield's Aidan Galvan, 25, and Zach Friedman, 24, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Josiah McDonald, 23, moves the ball over Deerfield's Aidan Galvan, 25, and Zach Friedman, 24, during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22,  goes to the hoop past Deerfield's Quinn Halpern, 30 during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills' Justin St. Louis, 22, goes to the hoop past Deerfield's Quinn Halpern, 30 during boys basketball Saturday February 27, 2021 in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/27/2021 5:38 PM

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.

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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."

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