Vyverman, Palatine close out Mundelein

It was a battle of the scarlet and gray when visiting Palatine squared off against Mundelein in nonconference girls basketball action Saturday afternoon.

With both teams coming off victories on Friday night, only one squad was going to be able to get a clean sweep of wins for the weekend.

And that was the Pirates as they overcame a late Mundelein rally to pull away for a 30-23 victory in this defensive struggle.

The Mustangs (9-14) headed into the fourth quarter trailing 21-14. But they were able to cut Palatine's lead to 23-20 on a basket by freshman Casey Vyverman (game-high 14 points), who scored all nine of Mundelein's points in the final quarter.

But that was as close as the Mustangs were able to get the rest of the way as Palatine senior Megan Van Brunt hit a huge 3-pointer along with two crucial free throws late in the game to help the Pirates secure the hard-fought victory.

"We held them to three points in the third quarter so that was huge, and our defense has been pretty good in the last few games," said Palatine coach Bill LePage.

LePage was also happy with his team's rebounding and free throw shooting as Palatine was able to put the game away in the final quarter.

"We rebounded much better than we did last night so I'm really happy with that, and we shot better from the free-throw line," added LePage, whose team was 7-for-11 from the foul line. "She (Van Brunt) plays hard defense, and she had a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that was really big. We took care of the basketball late in the game when we had to and that is always a coach's dream to make sure you don't turn it over."

The Pirates jumped out to a 12-6 advantage after one quarter before taking a 17-11 lead into halftime as both teams struggled through some cold shooting from the field in the first half.

Van Brunt scored a team-high 11 points for Palatine (13-11) followed by junior teammate Frankie Henderson with 7 points. Mundelein junior Rylan Foster also scored 7 points while Palatine teammates Megan Kim and Molly Piper scored 4 points apiece.

"I thought our defense was really solid. Credit to Palatine, their pressure got to us a little bit and we had more turnovers in the second half," said Mundelein coach Sarah Teipel, whose team defeated Zion-Benton on Friday. "We missed a lot of opportunities in the first half with layups and wide-open looks. I thought we battled and showed a lot of heart. We pulled to within one possession in the fourth quarter and that's all you can ask."

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