Mike Travlos went inside and outside to lead No. 7 Lake Zurich past No. 10 Prospect 52-48 on Tuesday night in the Class 4A regional boys basketball semifinals at Hersey in Arlington Heights.
The Bears (19-12) will meet No. 2 Fremd (26-0) in Friday's regional final.
"Our schedule really prepared us for tonight," Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher said. "You have to grind for every possession on both ends of the floor."
Travlos hit a pair of 3-point shots and had three 3-point plays. He was also 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to finish with 27 points.
"I was pretty hot and I drew a few fouls," said Travlos, who is a junior. "The refs seemed to call it every time I made a layup and I am thankful for that.
It was a battle between juniors as Travlos and Prospect's Kyle Beyak, who finished with a career-high 25 points, from start to finish.
Beyak got the Knights (16-12) going early, scoring his team's first 8 points while nailing a couple of 3-pointers as Prospect led 8-3 early.
Travlos, who is beginning to draw some Division I interest, helped heat up the Bears.
He scored 11 of Lake Zurich's next 13 points to build a 16-12 lead after the first quarter.
Danny Thomas (8 points) hit a couple of baskets as the Knights ran off 6 unanswered points to pull Prospect ahead 18-17 early in the second quarter.
Lake Zurich surged ahead 25-21 on a layup by Travlos with 2:21 left in the first half.
Prospect responded by scoring the final 5 points of the half, with Beyak adding his third of four 3-point baskets to put Prospect up 26-25 at the half.
"We were a bit frustrated at halftime," Pitcher said. "Mike (Travlos) is the only guy that was doing something. We needed our other guys to be aggressive and get the ball inside more."
Lake Zurich began to extend their defense in the second half, attempting to deny Beyak the ball.
That opened up Bobby Frasco (11 points), who had a 3-point play of his own and also nailed a 3-point basket to put the Knights up 36-33 with 2:54 left in the third quarter.
Lake Zurich's Will McClaughry then began to deploy himself on the offensive boards.
The 6-foot-6 junior crashed the boards, hitting a pair of put back baskets and also had a layup to to open the final quarter.
His play, along with a 3-pointer by Travlos ignited an 11-2 run by the Bears, who opened up a 44-38 lead with 5:07 to play.
"Rebounding is something we really have been focusing on in practice," said McClaughry, who finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds.
"We went to the Prospect-Fremd game last week and we wanted to crash the boards against Prospect. We knew we could get lots of extra opportunities."
Prospect closed to 44-41 with 1:09 left to play on a layup by Kyle Formanski.
But that's as close as the Knights would get with Lake Zurich hitting all eight of its free throws down the stretch.
"It was a tough loss," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "We needed an extra rebound or an extra possession.
"The character and integrity of this group is as solid as any group I have been around. They made such progress as a group and I would say that they maximized their talent."