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Vernon Hills has greater goals in mind this year, but one was reached Saturday.
By defeating Lakes 64-39 Saturday, the Cougars girls basketball team clinched the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division for the second year in a row. Vernon Hills (24-2, 12-0) will face Zion-Benton Wednesday night at Zion for the conference championship. Tipoff is scheduled for 7p.m.
When Lakes (15-12, 9-3) cut a 19-9 Vernon Hills lead to 19-17 with 3:30 left in the first quarter, it was the closet the Eagles would get the rest of the game.
A 24-17 halftime lead by the Cougars swelled to 43-28 at the end of the third period. When junior guard Sydney Smith (10 points) drove the scored to make it 49-31 midway through the final period, capping a 19-8 run, the game was effectively out of reach for Lakes.
The Cougars end their Prairie Division schedule undefeated for the second consecutive season.
“With that many games, we had our targets. It feels good,” Vernon Hills coach Paul Brettner said. “We started moving better on offense (in the second half). We were pretty stagnant in the first half.”
Junior Lauren Webb led the Cougars with 18 points and six rebounds. Senior Alina Lehocky scored 13 points and senior MeriBennett-Swanson added 10 for the Cougars.
Lakes was led senior Terese McMahon, who had eight points.