Complete team effort carries Prospect by Barrington
Prospect boys basketball coach John Camardella called his team's 48-35 win over Barrington in the Class 4A regional semifinal at Grant High School Wednesday night, "our most complete game of the year."
Owen Schneider, the Knight's sophomore point guard, called his game, "a game that I matured as a player a little bit."
Senior forward Brian Dini called his game, "trying to create havoc inside the lane."
Now, the 11th-seeded Knights will take on Mid-Suburban East co-champion Buffalo Grove, the No. 3 seed, Friday night in the regional final.
The Bison defeated Prospect twice during regular season play.
"We have had some frustrating moments this season," said Camardella. " Our guys have just pushed through it and learned. They've grown together as a team. We're looking forward to Friday."
Barrington, the No. 6 seed who finished the season with a respectable 20-8 record, had trouble connecting on shots early on.
Prospect (15-14) hit from long range in the first quarter three times in earning a 13-10 lead after the first quarter.
"If they were going to double-team us inside," said Dini, "our plan was to kick the ball out to the shooters."
The Knights' Chase Larsen (10 points) hit two 3-pointers and Dini one in the first quarter. Schneider hit a 3-pointer at the start of the second quarter, which got the ball rolling for Prospect.
Barrington could muster just 3 points, all from Dylan Keenan who led his team with 16 points, in the second quarter.
An 8-0 run during the quarter gave Prospect a 24-11 lead before ending the first half ahead 26-13.
"They made shots early and we didn't," said Barrington coach Bryan Tucker. "That was the name of the game."
The Broncos came out with a full court trap to start the second half but Barrington was only able to cut 2 points off the Knights' lead at 33-22 going into the fourth quarter.
"We did a great job preparing for their trap," said Schneider. "Handling the ball, I needed to be strong. Early in the year I had a little trouble with traps. Practices helped me get used to that. On defense we did a lot of work studying their sets. We were ready."
"Barrington has long and athletic players and are good at trapping," said Camardella. "I was proud of our guys because they really worked to get through it. Owen really came to play today. His improvement has been nonstop. He has never given up. He just looks for ways to get better."
"It's tough to try and trap for an entire half on every possession," said Tucker. "It takes a lot of energy and we just didn't have enough to come back."
Prospect opened the lead to 43-26 with 1:52 left in the game by hitting 10 of 12 free throws.
Barrington's Aaron Striker (7 points) connected on a 3-point play which was followed by a 3-pointer from Will Grudzinski to make the score 43-32 with 1:17 left.
Prospect would then hit 5 of 6 free throws to seal the win.
"We really worked hard on defense for this game," said Dini who, scored 10 points, blocked 4 shots and had 5 rebounds. "Holding them to 3 points for the second quarter was key for us. I just wanted to create havoc inside under the basket because now it's win or go home."