Libertyville gets by Prospect in OT
It would have been easy for the stage to get real large for Libertyville's Marc Michelotti. But the junior didn't act like a doe-eyed newbie.
Michelotti, who was making his first start for the Wildcats, knocked down 8-of-10 free throws in overtime to help Libertyville hold off Prospect 49-45 in overtime Monday in the opening round of the 43rd annual St. Viator Thanksgiving Basketball Classic in Arlington Heights.
"I practice every day," said Michelotti, who converted 10-of-12 from the line for the game and finished with 19 points.
"I am just composed. I have confidence in myself. Coach 'Z' (Brian Zyrkowski) is confident in my ability to make them. Knowing the time and the score, I didn't want to come back to the locker room with any regrets."
Neither did Libertyville, which saw a 12-point lead in the first half evaporate thanks to the hard second half play by Prospect.
The Knights rallied to tie the game at 36 on a basket by Brian Dini with 1:13 to play. Each team had an opportunity to win in regulation, but both teams missed shots down the stretch.
In overtime, Chase Larsen gave Prospect its first lead when his basket pushed the Knights ahead with 3:38 left.
Will Moore tied it for Libertyville and Larsen knocked down a free throw to put the Knights back up 39-38 with 2:33 left. Jackson Watson, who had failed on four previous 3-point attempts, drilled a trey to put Libertyville up for good at 41-39 with 1:55 to play.
"Watson didn't shoot the ball much all game," Zyrkowski said. "He then makes a big shot down the stretch. He just kept focusing."
Marchelotti took over from there. He hit 5 consecutive free throws as Libertyville led 46-39 with 30.1 seconds left.
Prospect made one last comeback attempt. The Knights got a basket from Matt Woloch and then a steal and a basket by Marco Shaw on the inbounds pass after the Libertyville player slipped on the floor to make it 46-43 with 18.1 seconds left.
Michelotti would then convert two more free throws to put the game away.
"I am too old for this," said Zyrkowski, who turned 38 on Monday. "Prospect came out and threw a couple of adjustments at us. They put a couple of zones at us. Credit our seniors for their leadership."
Patrick Graham, who finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, said that he knew his team could respond to Prospect's charge.
"We know that basketball is back and forth and back forth," Graham said. "They had their run and then we took it at the end, which is what you need."
Will Moore added 8 points for the Wildcats while Chase Bonder had 2 points and 8 rebounds.
Prospect, which did not have a returning starter, was led by Woloch with 19 points. Larsen had 8 points while Dini had 6 points.
"The game moves and the intensity moves," Prospect coach John Camardella said. "There is a different speed to the game once the jerseys are on. I was proud of our guys. We got it back, tied, for the lead and had a chance to win. We are looking to get better."