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2014-'15 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 1/11/2014 10:45 PM
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Rolling Meadows is up to the task
 

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Rolling Meadows is up to the task
  • Prospect's Catherine Sherwood, left, and Mallory Gonzalez, right, force a possession in their team's favor by tying up the ball with Rolling Meadows' Jenny Vliet during Saturday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Catherine Sherwood, left, and Mallory Gonzalez, right, force a possession in their team's favor by tying up the ball with Rolling Meadows' Jenny Vliet during Saturday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Taylor Will surpasses 1,000-career points with a 3-pointer during Saturday's game against Rolling Meadows.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Taylor Will surpasses 1,000-career points with a 3-pointer during Saturday's game against Rolling Meadows. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Rolling Meadows' Jackie Kemph, right, looks for a layup while being guarded by Prospect defender Hannah Grott.

    Purchase Photo | Rolling Meadows' Jackie Kemph, right, looks for a layup while being guarded by Prospect defender Hannah Grott. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Catherine Sherwood takes a shot in front of Rolling Meadows defender Ashley Montanez during Saturday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Catherine Sherwood takes a shot in front of Rolling Meadows defender Ashley Montanez during Saturday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Rolling Meadows' Alexis Glasgow makes a strong move to the basket during Saturday's game against Prospect.

    Purchase Photo | Rolling Meadows' Alexis Glasgow makes a strong move to the basket during Saturday's game against Prospect. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  •  Prospect's Taylor Will, left, and Roling Meadows' Jenny Vliet leap for a rebound during Saturday's game.

    Purchase Photo | Prospect's Taylor Will, left, and Roling Meadows' Jenny Vliet leap for a rebound during Saturday's game. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 

The Saturday afternoon matinee showdown at the Jean Walker Field House started out with history.

Prospect junior guard Taylor Will hit a 3-pointer to give the hosts a 6-2 lead over state-ranked Rolling Meadows.

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It also gave Will 1,002 points for her career, making her just the sixth player in the program's history to surpass 1,000.

Moments later, the home crowd was cheering again as Catherine Sherwood's layup made it 8-2.

But how did the Mustangs get back into the lead (23-19) before quarter's end?

They went to all three of their 1,000-point scorers.

Jackie Kemph, Alexis Glasgow and Jenny Vliet combined for all 23 points and the Mustangs used a big second half to top the Knights 69-50 before a big crowd in the Mid-Suburban East showdown .

The Mustangs (17-2, 4-0) led 35-34 at the break but used a 16-3 start to the third quarter to pull away.

Senior forward Ashley Montanez, who saw limited time in the first half due to foul trouble, scored all 6 of her points in the first three minutes of the third quarter

"I had to come out strong in the second half and give us an extra push," said the University of Indianapolis recruit. "Prospect did a great job coming out to start the game but we adjusted in the second half."

The Mustangs outscored the hosts 34-17 in the final 16 minutes.

"A lot of that was Ashley," said Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky, whose team is No. 2 in the Class 4A poll. "She's a great player. We kind of challenged her at half because she had been on the bench with foul trouble and the reason we extended the lead was her coming out to play in the second half."

The Knights (14-4, 2-2) certainly came to play in the first half, as Sherwood scored 12 of her 14 points and Will had 15 of her 19.

"For as well as we played in the first half, I didn't feel we had that same energy in the second half," said Knights coach Ashley Graham. "Obviously, Montanez hurt us. That's a tribute to her. She's a great player. And we didn't get the same shots we were getting in the second half."

Kemph (game-high 23 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds) was hitting her driving shots as usual, scoring 6 field goals with her nifty moves to the basket in the first quarter.

Vliet (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Glasgow (15 points, 4 rebounds) and Vliet each had big 3-pointers in the period.

"Rolling Meadows and Prospect are longtime rivals," Glasgow said. "So this definitely feels good. But now we've got to focus on our next game with Hersey (Friday night) if we want to get through the first round at 5-0."

Sami Kay got through the Knights' defense for a coast-to-coast layup which put Meadows on top 34-30.

But Prospect came back with 2 free throws by Mallory Gonzalez (9 points), and a steal and assist by freshman Haley Will that resulted in a basket by Sherwood for a 34-34 tie.

Vliet's free throw sent Meadow into the intermission leading by 1 point.

Kay finished with 6 points "

"Sami was huge," Kirkorsky said. "She was consistent and assertive and that's what we need from her."

What Meadows also needed was a big second half and they got it.

"We just said to the kids when we play the right way, we are difficult to beat," Kirkorsky said about his halftime message. "In the second half, we played great on both ends of the floor.

"Prospect is a great team. They shot well and they have some kids who are really hard to guard. Obviously, No. 24 (Sherwood, who picked up her third foul late in the first half) having foul trouble hurt them."

"We were not as enegerized as we wanted in the first half," Glasgow added. "But we turned it on in the second half and we can be proud of that."

Graham was proud of Will's milestone.

"Obviously, everyone knows she is a tremendous basketball player but Taylor is really a tremendous kid. Everything she gets, she deserves because she is such a workhorse. Our team always knows it can depend on Taylor whether it's at practice, at 'knockout' or in a game."

Sherwood was back after missing two games with concussion-like symptoms.

"It was nice to get Catherine back," Graham said. "She did some nice things in the first half. Obviously our free throw shooting (7-of-19) hurt against a good team."

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