When crunch time came at Hersey on Friday night, Prospect's two veterans, Bobby Frasco and Danny Thomas, took the leadership roles.
"When it was close in the fourth quarter," said Frasco , "the seniors had to step up."
The Knights and Huskies battled tooth and on opening night in the Mid-Suburban East.
Frasco and Thomas took charge in the final 2:25 to pull out a thrilling 59-52 win for Prospect in Arlington Heights.
"It's hard to win on the road in this conference," said Thomas who scored 14 points. "We had a tough game two nights ago against Stevenson, but we were up to the challenge."
The two teams exchanged leads five time before the Knights (4-2, 1-0) took the lead for good on Kyle Furmanski's basket on a assist from Thomas to make the score 51-50 with 2:25 left in the game.
Frasco (15 points, 9 rebounds) stole the ball and eventually scored on a offensive rebound for a 53-50 lead.
Thomas then stepped up, taking a sideline inbounds pass, putting a spin move on a defender and converting a layup with :54 left for a 55-50 lead.
Moments later, Thomas hit 2 free throws with :42 for a 57-50 lead.
Payton Haas (13 points, 4 rebounds) got the last bucket for the Huskies (2-3, 0-1) with :34 left before Furmanski (10 points, 6 rebounds) hit 2 free throws for the Knights.
"Thomas put in a lot of work in the summer," said Prospect coach John Camardella. " I was proud to see his efforts when it counted the most. This was a big conference win for us."
Things started out well for the Huskies, who made 7 of 10 shots in the first quarter and led 17-10. Mike Fuerst (9 rebounds) scored 7 of his 13 points in the period.
Thomas had 6 points and Frasco 5 in the second quarter to help the Knights stay close. Max Cahill converted a 3-point play with 2:52 left in the first half to give the Knights their first lead at 26-24. Prospect held it until a basket by Max Heeren (14 points, 5 assists) with 6:29 left in the game gave Hersey a 45-43 lead.
"Hersey is a very good team," said Frasco. "They gave us a hard time. But this our second big road win. We had guys come off the bench and help contribute when Danny and I had foul trouble."
Grant Miller and Nick Lazarz played key bench roles for Prospect.
"We got good play from some of our younger players," Camardella said, "and Bobby and Danny played smart down the stretch with the four fouls they had."
The Knights also shot 24 of 42 from the field for 57 percent while the Huskies connected on 20-of-43 for 46 percent -- but just 4 of 12 in the fourth quarter.
"I liked they way we played in the first quarter," said Hersey coach Steve Messer. "In the second half our ball movements and screens were flawed. We didn't rebound well at either end, and we're still learning on how to find the open players."