Despite starting out the season 0-2, Prospect boys basketball coach John Camardella feels upbeat.
"We come to the St. Patrick Tournament to learn about ourselves and what we have to do better," said Camardella. "In November and December, we're trying to learn wins and losses."
The Knights took a tough lesson Friday, falling 75-69 to the host Shamrocks in overtime.
Mike LaTulip (27 points, 4 assists) connected on 2 two free throws with 33 seconds left in regulation for the Knights to tie the game at 64-64. Prospect then received a break when the Shamrocks' Royale Ewing (14 points) traveled with 1.1 left, but LaTulip's halfcourt shot fell short.
Ewing made up for his miscue by scoring the first basket in overtime.
Grant DePalma stole the ball moments later but missed the layup. The Knights missed two attempts underneath on rebounds before Elijah Watson was fouled and hit 2 free throws for St. Patrick.
"That was a big turnaround," said Camardella. "If we tie the score there, who knows?"
The Shamrocks capitalized on the next two Prospect misfires from the field as Jacob Williams (10 points, 6 rebounds) scored and Kortney Darby (26 points, 6 rebounds) hit 2 free throws for a 72-64 lead with 1:28 remaining.
"Darby is so improved from last year," said Camardella. "His outside jumper really added to his game. Their defense was very good. They clogged up the lanes on us with their wingspan. We were able to get a few backdoor baskets, but not enough."
"Last year we would have lost a game like this," said Shamrocks coach Mike Bailey. "Ewing really showed his competitiveness when he hit the shot to start the overtime. Darby is just a warrior out there, just like LaTulip. We had to find a way to hold (LaTulip) down after his first half (18 points). We switched Mahlike Graham and Williams on him to slow him down."
While LaTulip scored just 9 second-half points, Terry Redding (14 points, 8 rebounds) and DePalma (10 points) provided help.
"We have some great chemistry and smart players on this team," said LaTulip. "They switched defenses on me alot in the second half, and they came to us with a chest-to-chest defense. I think playing teams like St..Pat and Oak Park are only going to make us better."
The contest was so close that there were 14 ties and 28 lead changes. The Shamrocks' biggest lead was 4 points and Prospect's was 3 until St.Patrick scored the first 8 points in overtime.
The Knights face Chicago Senn (0-2) on Saturday night at St. Patrick.