Prospect falls to Notre Dame
Give Prospect's boys basketball team credit. Thursday night at the 42nd annual Hardwood Classic at Wheeling, the Knights took on powerful Notre Dame in the quarterfinals.
Despite losing to the 12-2 Dons 63-45, the Knights (5-6) showed resolve throughout the night.
"Prospect was a very unselfish team," said Notre Dame coach Kevin Clancy. "I warned our guys that this is the second round of the tournament and could be a trap game. They guarded us well and were solid on offense."
The Don's were pretty good also.
Junior Troy D'Amico, one of several Division I prospects, led the way for the Dons, who will now face upstart Maine West Friday night in the semifinals.
D'Amico shot 8 of 11 from the field for 19 points, had 4 rebounds and 3 assists to go with 2 blocked shots.
"Troy doesn't back down from anything," said Clancy. "He doesn't like losing. He's going to fight for every possession and he's tough around the rim. He's got a football mentality."
"He's extremely dynamic," said Prospect coach John Camardella. " He can shoot, do the bounce pass and finish around the rim. He's more polished than when I saw him a year ago."
"I just go out there and try to do things that will help us win," said D'Amico. " I want to do what I can to help my teammates score. We know that there's a bull's-eye on our back but really we don't think about it too much. We just go out and play our game. This year I got to know the game better by having varsity experience from last year. It has helped me make better decisions."
The Knights hung around, trailing 17-11 with 1:40 left in the first quarter. But baskets by Jason Bergstrom, D'Amico and a 3-pointer by Louis Lesmond opened the lead to 24-11. Notre Dame led 37-26 at the halftime break and 48-35 after three quarters.
Lesmond would finish with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals.
Lesmond delighted the large crowd with two slam dunks on alley-oop passes from D'Amico. Anthony Sayles, coming off a three week layoff, returned with 11 points for the Dons.
"Prospect gave us a good fight," said Clancy, " but I credit our players for being resilient."
"They are the most complete team I've seen in a long time," said Camardella. "Once they got the double-digit lead, then we had to chase them all over the floor. You get exhausted. But for us it's still a question of competing. Playing teams like this will tell you who your are and where you need to get as a team."
Matt Woloch led Prospect with 14 points and found the loss to have a plus side.
"This is a good learning experience," said Woloch. "They are a top team in the state. We never gave up. We just kept pushing and tried to do the best we could. Tonight we rebounded well and we're getting better at spacing our offense on the floor."
Brian Dini had 8 points and 5 rebounds for Prospect and Chase Larsen added 7 points.