Vernon Hills' Lauren Webb (left center) tries to drive through four North Chicago players Lyric Pearson (left) Shadejza Garrett (above right) Dara Tanner (lower right) and Justice Moore (right) during their girls basketball game at Vernon Hills. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 7:04AM
Vernon Hills High School’s “Big 3” of Meri Bennett-Swanson (18), Sydney Smith (15) and Lauren Webb (20) combined for 53 points as the host Cougars beat North Chicago 70-47 on Wednesday in a North Suburban Conference Prairie Division girls basketball game.
Vernon Hills is now 8-0 and North Chicago’s 0-9.
Only a handful of people — and virtually no Vernon Hills students — showed up to support the area’s only unbeaten girls hoops squad.
What almost everybody missed was a solid effort by the winners, and an improved showing by the losers.
“We’ve started (the season) pretty well,” said Cougars coach Paul Brettner of his team, which finished second in last year’s 3A state tournament. “Now, we’re starting to solidify things as far as finding a rotation and playing a full game.
“Every game, there are always some things we see that we can improve on. Tonight, it was the offensive rebounds we gave up. But, by and large, I was happy with the effort.”
Vernon Hills led 40-22 at halftime and the biggest lead was 32.
Still, North Chicago gave a solid effort, led by Lyric Pearson (16 points) and Justice Moore (9).
“They’re starting to get the chemistry part of the game,” said North Chicago coach Lawrence Brown. “Even with the loss, we saw girls making progress.
“If we continue to develop, we can be a team you don’t want to play down the stretch.”
On Friday, Vernon Hills will play at Wauconda and North Chicago will host Lakes.