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Hot-shooting Cougars are on right track

    VernHills's Stephen Curry (1) brings down ball Friday home against Antioch. | Dave Shields~for Suntimes-Medi| Dave

Vernon Hills's Stephen Curry (1) brings down the ball, Friday, at home against Antioch. | Dave Shields~for Suntimes-Media | Dave Shields~for Suntimes-Media | Dave Shields~for Suntimes-Media | Dave Shields~for Suntimes-Media

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Updated: January 23, 2013 6:06AM

Vernon Hills bombed home 9-of-15 first-half shots from behind the arc to build a 22-point halftime lead and went on to thrash visiting Antioch 66-35 on Friday in a North Suburban Conference Prairie Division boys basketball game.

The Cougars are now 6-6 on the season and 3-3 in the division. They play next week in a tournament at Wheeling. Antioch is 1-9 and 0-5, and plays Marengo (2 p.m.) and Woodstock North (5 p.m.) on Saturday at the Marengo holiday tournament.

Friday’s game was close for the first three minutes. Antioch gave its fans on hand reason to cheer by leading 9-7 in the early going.

But Vernon Hills starting draining three-pointers to build a 21-10 lead after a period.

The second quarter was just as good or bad, depending on which team you were supporting, as the Cougars again outscored the visitors by the same 21-10 count in the second quarter.

In the first half, Antioch was 5-of-26 shooting from the field.

Then, in the third quarter, Antioch did not make a shot from the field until there were just 18 seconds left on the clock, as the score mounted to 56-25 and reserves from both teams then received some coveted playing time.

Senior and four-year varsity player Stephen Curry led Vernon Hills in scoring with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Michael Mariella added nine.

As a team, the Cougars were 24-of-43 from the field in the game, including 15-of-24 from behind the arc. Antioch, meanwhile, was just 10-of-44 shooting in the game.

Anthony Formella led the Sequoits with 11 points and was 4-of-9 shooting from the field.

“We played really well today,” said Cougars coach Matt McCarty. “It probably was our best game of the season. In the second half, we were able to expand our lead by attacking the basket and sharing the ball.

“We are more of a perimeter team and we really shot the ball well tonight.”

Curry noted that “his is a game that might get us over the hump. The guys are starting to gain confidence. This as a nice win for us.”

On the other side, Antioch coach Jim White saw his team struggle at both ends of the floor.

“We tried three different defenses and they still elected to shoot the ball over us,” he said.”On the offensive end, we need to get tougher underneath the basket.

“We get intimidated inside and are rushing shots. Hopefully, the Marengo tournament (starting Saturday) will get us back on track.”

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