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2014-'15 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 1/8/2014 12:00 AM
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Defense does it for Prospect
 

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Defense does it for Prospect
  • Prospect's Taylor Will goes up for a shot as time expires to end the third quarter as Palatine defender Maria Charlier closes in during Tuesday's game. If the basket had counted, it would have given Will 1,001 career points.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Taylor Will goes up for a shot as time expires to end the third quarter as Palatine defender Maria Charlier closes in during Tuesday's game. If the basket had counted, it would have given Will 1,001 career points. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Taylor Will is fouled as she tries to step between Palatine's Morgan Radtke, left, and Kristen Allen on Tuesday.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Taylor Will is fouled as she tries to step between Palatine's Morgan Radtke, left, and Kristen Allen on Tuesday. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Taylor Will, left, beats Palatine's Kristen Allen to a loose ball during Tuesday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Taylor Will, left, beats Palatine's Kristen Allen to a loose ball during Tuesday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Palatine's Morgan Radtke, middle, looks for an opening against Prospect defenders Nikki Matters, left, and Marissa Pacini on Tuesday.

    Purchase Photo | Palatine's Morgan Radtke, middle, looks for an opening against Prospect defenders Nikki Matters, left, and Marissa Pacini on Tuesday. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Palatine girls basketball coach Mark Johnson.

    Purchase Photo | Palatine girls basketball coach Mark Johnson. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Taylor Will, front, tries to take the ball from Palatine's Morgan Radtke during Tuesday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Taylor Will, front, tries to take the ball from Palatine's Morgan Radtke during Tuesday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Haley Will steals the ball from Palatine's Morgan Radtke, who falls to the floor on the play during Tuesday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Haley Will steals the ball from Palatine's Morgan Radtke, who falls to the floor on the play during Tuesday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Palatine girls basketball coach Mark Johnson leads his team against Prospect.

    Purchase Photo | Palatine girls basketball coach Mark Johnson leads his team against Prospect. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Mallory Gonzalez, left, takes the ball from Palatine's Bridget Ryan during Tuesday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Mallory Gonzalez, left, takes the ball from Palatine's Bridget Ryan during Tuesday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Marissa Pacini, left, makes a strong move to the basket against Palatine defender Carrissa Multon on Tuesday.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Marissa Pacini, left, makes a strong move to the basket against Palatine defender Carrissa Multon on Tuesday. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Haley Will, left, steals the ball from Palatine's Morgan Radtke during Tuesday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Haley Will, left, steals the ball from Palatine's Morgan Radtke during Tuesday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 

While a Prospect offensive individual milestone was on the brink at the Jean Walker Field House on Tuesday night, it was defense that had Knights girls basketball coach Ashley Graham smiling after the game.

Prospect came up with a 47-32 victory over Palatine in a Mid-Suburban League crossover contest where the hosts' junior guard Taylor Will was looking to make history.

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She needed 19 points going into the game to become the sixth Knight to reach 1,000 in a career.

Will ended up with a game-high 18 points, leaving her with 999 points. The school record belongs to Colleen Grant, who scored 1,352 from 1977 to 1981.

"I didn't even know about it until the article (in the Daily Herald on Dec. 31)," Will said of reaching the scoring plateau. "I was hoping to get it (Tuesday) but I'm not too upset.

"The most important thing was the win and we are looking forward to our game on Saturday (vs. first-place Rolling Meadows, ranked No. 2 in Class 4A)."

Meadows is 14-2 and 3-0 while Prospect stands at 14-2 and 2-1.

"That will definitely be fun to play them," Will said. "It's always fun playing good teams."

Will had a good chance to get her 1,000th point when she took a pass from her sister Haley and made a layup just after the third-quarter buzzer sounded.

"I was trying to do everything I could to get her the ball at the end," said Haley, a freshman point guard who scored 8 points. "But we just wanted to play as a team and work as hard. She'll (Taylor) get there because she is an awesome offensive player and we love having her score points."

It was limiting the Pirates' points that helped the Knights secure the win.

"I thought Prospect mixed up its defenses very well," said Palatine coach Mark Johnson. "Ashley does a nice job with that. They definitely made it difficult on us, which we thought they would."

Erin Mayer led the Pirates with 12 points while Morgan Radtke added 10.

"I thought our effort was outstanding," Johnson added. "The girls played hard. We just struggled to put the ball in the basket. I thought our defense was outstanding. We saw a glimpse of what we can be, and the girls saw it, too."

The Knights saw a press from the Pirates right from the get-go.

"Even though we kind of got stressed out by it at first, we came back and started to get a handle on it," Taylor Will said. "We didn't practice Monday so we just came out wanting to do our best after the break."

It was Prospect's first game in eight days. Graham was elated with the Knights' defense, which held a team under 40 points for the sixth time this season.

"Anytime you hold a team in the 30s, you've got to commend your kids," Graham said. "I think every coach in the state would be nervous to play after having school canceled on Monday but our kids came in to work early in the day and they did a great job on the defensive end."

Offensively, they got off to a quick start, too, as senior Mallory Gonzales (11 points) hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter and junior Hannah Grott had one to help build a 16-4 lead.

Prospect led 25-15 at the break and built a 17-point lead late in the quarter.

Senior Marissa Pacini had two big buckets which helped the Knights extend their lead.

Bridget Ryan's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 38-24 late in the quarter before Taylor Will's attempt for 1,000 points just missed beating the buzzer.

"Obviously, everyone was rooting her," Graham said. "It didn't happen this game but at the end of the day Taylor was most happy about winning the game.

"Hopefully the offensive accolades will come the next game and she can put it behind her.

"Give credit to Palatine. They mix up their defenses and we've got to recognize that and learn from it."

The Knights are also hoping to learn that Catherine Sherwood will be able to play Saturday. The team's second-leading scorer and top rebounder has missed the last two games with concussion-like symptoms but said she hopes to be ready Saturday.

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