Prospect topples Buffalo Grove to claim another MSL East title
Prospect's boys basketball team turned up the jets in the second half to rally and fly past host Buffalo Grove 63-54 Friday.
The win gave Prospect (14-9, 9-0) its third consecutive Mid-Suburban League East title and the Knights' 28th consecutive conference victory.
It was also a very difficult loss for Buffalo Grove (14-11, 6-3). The Bison not only surrendered a 10-point lead at the half, but lost fabulous freshman Kam Craft to an injury to his left hip late in the third quarter. Craft was on crutches after the game and his prognosis was not known.
It was Prospect that was hobbling around at halftime.
Buffalo Grove had run off 10 unanswered points in the second quarter while the Knights were missing their first 9 shots from the field and trailed 31-21 at the break.
"I reminded our players about their capacity for work," Prospect coach John Camaradella said. "The best part is that we have built up enough trust in our players that we can pull what is always there out of them."
Prospect responded like it has for Camaradella and his staff all season. The Knights scored 20 points in the third quarter and tallied 22 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
"These seniors have just figured out ways to win," Camaradella said. "There were moments in the first half that were great and there were moments we will learn from. And we were able to adjust."
Jon Kreidler, one of Prospect's holdovers from last season, stepped up for the Knights when they needed him most. He scored the first 6 points of the third quarter for Prospect as the Knights got back into the game. He was then a force under the basket and finished with a career-high 25 points,
"We just told ourselves it was now or never," Kreidler said. "We knew we wanted to win this division tonight. We came out strong in the third and just continued. I had a mismatch down low and the coaches told me to go down and it worked out."
Buffalo Grove led 39-36 in the final 2 minutes of the third quarter when Craft, who scored 17 points, all in the first half, went down.
The freshman stole an errant pass and was driving in for a layup when he pulled up with an injury. He left the court with 1:24 left in the period and never returned.
The Bison were also without Tom Trieb, who reinjured the hip that kept him out most of the football season.
Prospect continued the pressure and Buffalo Grove, without its two top scorers, just couldn't match the Knights. Buffalo Grove led 44-43 with 5:50 to play when Prospect went on a 10-4 run to lead 53-48 with 3:08 left.
"We knew we had not played well in the first half," said Prospect's Ben Miller, who led the defensive charge. "We knew if we could lock in on defense, we would be just fine."
Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson, whose team was also playing without two other players who were injured, said the loss of Craft during the game was just too much for his team.
"Prospect did a good job of coming out of the second half," Peterson said. "I thought we withstood that. Kam had a transition and when he went out, it took our guys a while to get their legs. I am proud of the way they fought."
Prospect got 13 points from Sam Murray, 9 points from Michael Slupski and 8 points from Ben Zellmer. Buffalo Grove got 11 points from Mike Nowakowski and 10 points Ethan Soifer.