Was it too much to expect that Prospect's boys basketball team could go through its Mid-Suburban League schedule unbeaten?
But the Knights moved to 9-0 in the Mid-Suburban East and 18-4 overall Friday night with a defensive-minded 52-41 win over a young Hersey team that refused to go away after falling behind 15-0 in the first quarter.
Yes, Prospect at one point led 15-0.
"We got off to a great start," said Prospect's Tim Lussenhop, the team's high scorer with 19 who also spearheaded a team defensive effort that had a pretty good shooting Hersey squad going just 16-for-43 from the floor and 1-for-10 from beyond the arc.
Lussenhop started the game with a breakout basket off the opening tip and clinched it when Hersey made a late run by hitting a huge 3 to make it 50-38 after Hersey had pulled within 38-33 earlier in the fourth quarter.
"Hersey completely out-worked us the last three quarters," said Prospect coach John Camardella, whose team will once again play for the Mid-Suburban title. "They (Hersey) came out and played like they were the ones who were ahead 15-0."
They did, on a night when the entire Mid-Suburban East schedule was played at Christian Liberty Academy, the former Arlington High School, in the revered Grace Gym. The Dist. 214 Basketball Showcase also honored Arlington's 1981-82 Elite Eight team.
Hersey rallied on the strength of its underclassmen, who dominate the minutes played for the Huskies (8-15, 6-3).
Jason Coffaro's hoop on a nice feed from point guard Matt Hanushewsky finally got Hersey within 9 points in the third quarter. Coffaro finished with 14.
But the Knights never let the Huskies get over the hump. Lussenhop had a 3-point play on a terrific feed from T.J. Johannesen and a fastbreak bucket thereafter to blunt Hersey's fourth-quarter rally.
Lussenhop, a 6-foot-3 senior, never seemed to run out of gas.
"He ran cross country and track as a freshman and a sophomore," Camardella said. "So the more minutes he plays the more he relishes it. Tim Lussenhop was outstanding tonight."
He needed to be, thanks to Hersey.
"When the kids come together like that, it's really pleasing," said Hersey coach Steve Messer.
Mid-Suburban League veterans Messer and Camardella said they loved the opportunity to see their teams play in the old Arlington gym.
Camardella said he especially enjoyed seeing the numbers in the stands, a remembrance of a time long past, when fans bought assigned seats.
And Messer saw the evening as nothing but a positive for the sport and the league.
"It's a great idea," said Messer. "It's great for high school basketball."