Prospect puts it all together in win over Deerfield
This was a game that the Prospect boys basketball team was waiting for Monday afternoon.
Being battle-tested in their first nine games with three out of four overtime losses and back to back Friday night conference loses, things had to change for the Knights.
Prospect put it all together in the first round of the 41st Wheeling Hardwood Classic in easily defeating Deerfield 59-32.
"I told the players in the pregame that enough was enough," said Prospect coach John Camardella. "We wanted to spread out their defense and get their big guys away from the rim."
Prospect's first five baskets were layups or putback baskets for a 12-5 lead. A 3-pointer by Marco Shaw gave the 5-5 Knights a 15-5 lead before settling for a 17-10 lead to end the quarter.
Sophomore Owen Schneider hit a 3-pointer to start the second quarter which was followed by baskets from Steve Mack and Rob Lombardo to open a 24-10 lead with 3:17 left in the first half.
While the Warriors (5-3) trailed 33-19 at the break the Knights were under full control.
"Going inside to start the game is something we wanted to do," said Prospect guard Matt Woloch, who led his team with 14 points and 6 rebounds. "We've been shooting poorly at the start of games but today we found ways to get inside. We felt if we could get to the rim we could get it going."
The early stages of the third quarter iced the game for Prospect.
Deerfield's Walt Mattingly, who would score 8 points, connected on a 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 33-22.
Prospect then found its niche.
Woloch connected on a 3-point play on an assist from Chase Larsen. Woloch scored again on an assist from Schneider. Schneider scored on an assist from Woloch. Larsen connected from long range and Schneider finished the 12-0 run with basket to swell the lead to 45-22.
"We did a nice job on getting a jump on the lead in the third quarter," said Schneider. "Even though we were up by 11 points, we wanted to try real hard to get the lead up to 20. The last few games we've come out flat and we have fallen behind. Today was different."
Not only did Prospect have good scoring balance with Schneider scoring 9 and Brian Dini scoring 8 but the Knights had good stats.
Schneider handed out 6 assists, Dini added 6 rebounds, Larsen had 4 assists and 3 rebounds Prospect won the battle of the boards 27-17.
Deerfield was led by Joe Shapiro's 9 points. The Warriors were 7 for 21 in the first half and finished 11 of 41 for 28%.
Prospect shot 55% on 24 of 43.
"These young men now understand that you have to love basketball through ups and downs," said Camardella. "In all facets of today's game we were ready to play."
The Knights will have to play with the same resolve Thursday when they face highly regarded Notre Dame at 5:30 p.m.