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Vernon Hills defends tourney title
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Published: 11/21/2012 12:39 AM

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Sydney Smith scored a game-high 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and grabbed 5 rebounds, as Vernon Hills’ girls basketball team successfully defended its own Thanksgiving tournament championship with a 50-26 win over Glenbrook North on Tuesday night.

Meri Bennett-Swanson added a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars, who also won the title in 2009. Vernon Hills (5-0) went 5-0 in the tourney.

Antioch 47, Wheeling 40: Paige Gallimore had 16 points and Megan Borries contributed 14, as the host Sequoits improved to 3-1.

Antioch led only 21-17 at halftime but then opened the third quarter with two 3-pointers from Rachel Schwabe and one from Borries. Gallimore also sank a 3.

Grayslake Central 41, Buffalo Grove 36: At Maine South, Morgan Dahlstrom’s 17 points paced the Rams, who led 34-21 after three quarters.

Grayslake Central (2-1) also received 10 points, including a 3-pointer, from Maddy Miller.

Lakes 53, Johnsburg 35: At Johnsburg on Monday night, the Eagles won their second straight game in the Turkey Thriller tournament to even their record at 2-2.

Lakes forward Terese McMahon led all scorers with 16 points in limited minutes. Amanda Smith added 9 points.

“We began to play better defense in the second half,” said coach Pete Schneider, whose Eagles held Johnsburg to 3 third-quarter points. “We work a great deal on defense and the ladies are taking pride in it. Nicole Mogged, Maya Schmitt and Shelby Trkla really got after the defense tonight.

“When we arrived at Johnsburg, I showed the team all of the regional and sectional plaques hanging on the wall,” Schneider added. “I needed for them to know that when you play a team that has a great tradition behind them that you cannot take them for granted. We stayed focused and played better as the game went on.”

Johnsburg hit 3-pointers on their first two shots and stayed close after one quarter before Lakes pulled ahead by 10 at the break. The Eagles ran the lead to 20 in the second half.

“Many kids got a chance to contribute tonight, which is always great to see,” Schneider said. “All of my kids work hard and to be able to get them minutes is awesome. They all played very well tonight. ... Our goal the last couple of years has been to begin building a winning tradition. I hope to someday have those plaques hanging on our walls.”

Johnsburg was led by Trace Chase with 6 points and Maddie Himpelman and Katie Poczkalski with 5 points apiece.

Lakes plays Cary-Grove at Lake Zurich tonight in the final day of the tournament.

“This is a great tournament for us, getting to play bigger (Class 4A) schools and great competition,” Schneider said. “It will prepare us for our conference.”