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Bulldogs log initial win for their first-year coach

Round Lake-1/23/13 Tues./Round Lake High School #11 MorgEvins Round Lake with bucket foul vs. Waukegan. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

Round Lake-1/23/13, Tues./Round Lake High School #11 Morgin Evins, of Round Lake with the bucket and the foul vs. Waukegan. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 25, 2013 12:29PM

It took two months and 16 games for Waukegan’s girls basketball team to log its first victory under new coach Shanta Parnell.

But with the way the Bulldogs have improved from Game 1 to Game 16 — Wednesday’s 46-30 thumping of host Round Lake — Waukegan fans can rest assured that it won’t be another 16 games before the Dogs win again.

The biggest reason for optimism is 5-foot-10 sophomore forward Kylah Collins.

She had a career game with 30 points and 21 rebounds as Waukegan righted the ship after trailing 11-4 in the early going.

Waukegan had a 13-0 run around the third-quarter break to turn a 28-22 lead into a 41-22 blowout.

“It feels real good,” said Collins. “After we fell behind in the first quarter, we were determined to put a stop to their scoring.

“After that, we knew we had to just keep pushing.”

Regarding her offensive explosion, Collins said, “I was able to take advantage of the one-on-ones tonight, and my teammates did a real good job. Our point guard (Natasha Ortiz) did a good job handling the ball and Kiara (Bailey) did a great job rebounding.”

Bailey, a junior forward, had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“We finally got one,” said Bulldogs coach Shanta Parnell. “In every basketball game, you always go in with the intention of winning, but the results are a whole different thing.

“I think we played well. We executed some of the things we’ve been talking about, which is good to see. Overall, I’m more happy that the girls finally got to feel a win.”

Round Lake is now 2-20, with wins over Northtown and Rockford Jefferson.

Bianca Mahoney and Morgin Evins each had eight points for the Panthers.

“We’ve been playing well, but not tonight,” said veteran coach Howard Conkling. “Give Waukegan all the credit in the world. We were up 11-4 and started to cruise, and they took it to us.

“The objective is to keep playing hard and to make some shots. We want them to play hard all four quarters and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Round Lake was 11-of-66 from the field and Waukegan was 14-of-36. The disparity was because of offensive rebounds and 24 Waukegan turnovers.

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