Patiently, Prospect passes up Buffalo Grove
Prospect saved its best for last and cashed in.
The Knights played a solid second half to run away from host Buffal Grove 62-47 Friday.
"I thought it was best half of basketball we played all year," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "Offensively and defensively, it was a good second half for our team."
Prospect (6-2, 3-0) trailed by 6 at the half. But the Knights exploded in the second half, converting their first 15 of 19 shots, including 5 of 6 from outside the arc.
The win also moved Prospect into sole possession of first place in the MSL East with its six consecutive win of the season.
"We needed that," Camardella said. "Especially what was at stake tonight."
Buffalo Grove (5-4, 2-1) appeared to have things in control at the break.
The Bison built a 25-19 lead thanks to solid inside play by Tom Trieb (14 points and 9 rebounds), Mac Camardo (11 points) and Jack Vaselaney (9 points).
But Prospect forced 9 first-half turnovers to keep the Knights in the game.
"It is a 32-minute game," Camardella said. "And we had a rough first 16 minutes. But our defense kept us in it early."
Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said that poor play at times by the Bison hurt their chances.
"We turned the ball over and didn't execute enough offensively to have a big enough lead at halftime," Peterson said. "When they made their run, we just didn't fight back enough to handle that."
Prospect, which hit just 1 of its first 13 three-point shots, began to find the bottom of the basket in the second half.
David Swedura, Tim Lussenhop and Jon Kreidler each nailed a 3 as suddenly Prospect led 28-27 with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
"We just wanted to stay loose," said Swedura, who led the Knights with 22 points. "We knew if we kept shooting it would eventually go in. That's what we kept doing."
And with the outside game finally paying dividends for the Knights, they began to make deposits with their inside game.
Swedura, Lussenhop and Kreidler began to push the Knights offense, which went on 14-6 run to lead 42-33 just before the end of the third quarter.
"We do a real good job of moving the ball," said Lussenhop, who finished with 15 points. "Coach had said in the locker room that we were missing some easy shots in the first half. If we could get those shots to go, we knew we could back in the game."
Prospect did more than get back in the game at the start of the fourth quarter. The Knights hit their first 6 shots and rolled out to a 53-48 lead with 4:45 to play on a basket by Jalen McLachlan.
"We have come together quite well as a team," said Kreidler, who finished with 14 points as the only junior starter for the Knights. "Those first couple of games we really didn't know who we were as a team yet. After that, we came together and have been playing well."
Peterson says his team can also bounce back from the loss on Friday.
"We simply have to get better," Peterson said. "That was what our message was in the locker room after the game. We have to be ready for Hersey next week."