2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/22/2016 8:13 PM

Szuba comes up big as Prospect tops Libertyville

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By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

That's a man among boys. He's even got an armful of tattoos to prove it.

Yes, Prospect senior Matt Szuba got his double double on Tuesday afternoon, finishing with 17 points and 12 boards. But is he really a high school student?

"We have his birth certificate,'' joked Prospect coach John Camardella.

Libertyville coach Brent Mork wasn't questioning Szuba's age.

"That's a big kid,'' Mork said. "Big in skill, too."

Prospect's defense stalled Libertyville's standout (Drew Peterson, 5 points) in the second game of the 40th annual Joe Majkowski Thanksgiving Tournament held at St. Viator High School. Libertyville (0-2) led briefly in the opening quarter but fell 59-54.

"I was getting denied the ball and wasn't shooting really well, either,'' Peterson said.

Shooting well on this night for the Wildcats was senior Harrison Bach (16 points).

"Harrison did a great job,'' Peterson said. "He stepped into a big role for us."

Bach was a one-man team in the fourth quarter. He scored the Wildcats' last 10 points of the game.

That Szuba fellow had the game's first basket on a tough fadeaway. Frankie Mack (13 points) followed with a 3-pointer and the Knights were off and running as Szuba and Mack scored all 13 points for Prospect in the opening quarter.

"This was a physical game,'' Camardella added. "Our game plan was to take Peterson out of it. We took turns guarding him."

Peterson and Brandon Rule (9 points) had 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Prospect lead was down to a single point at 13-12.

"We knew they would try and deny Drew the ball,'' Mork said. "But that's on our coaches. We have a really young team this year."

The Knights (1-1) stretched out the lead in the second quarter. Szuba nailed a 3-pointer and added a jumper to give his Knights a 28-22 lead at halftime.

It could have been worse for the Wildcats but junior guard Ryan Wittenbrink (12 points) took the ball to the basket and was rewarded with a personal 6-point run.

"This is one of the toughest tournaments in the state,'' Peterson said. "This is still a learning experience for our team. We have 10 or 11 juniors who are still getting used to the varsity."

Both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter. Bach had half of his team's 8 points in this quarter. Antonio Gardner hit his lone 3-pointer of the contest to help the Knights close the quarter up, 36-30.

The Knights' lead hit double figures in the final quarter. Michael Richie, who helped shut down Peterson with his tough defense, also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points.

Bach's sharp shooting in the final minute closed the Prospect margin at the end.

It doesn't get easier for the Wildcats. Wednesday's game is against powerful Conant.

"Conant is one of the top teams in the area,'' Peterson said. "We just have to give them a game."

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