Prospect downs short-handed Notre Dame

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/28/2021 9:09 PM

Basketball and COVID took more strange turns together at the 43rd annual Wheeling Hardwood Classic Tuesday in Wheeling.

Prospect beat Notre Dame 57-39 in a quarterfinal game that was clearly affected by COVID protocols.

 

Prospect was without head coach Brad Rathe, who has been out for nearly a week due to COVID protocols. Assistant coach Bobby Reibel was on the bench for the Knights. Prospect (7-4) was playing in its first tournament game after its opener was canceled when Niles North exited the tournament due to COVID protocols.

"Myself and (assistant coach Gary) Judson have been putting things together," Reibel said. "We have been able to talk to Brad. We have been trying to get prepared."

Notre Dame, the defending tournament champion, was without seven players, including three starters. They were all sidelined due to COVID protocols. The Dons had just nine players, including players from their lower levels that they brought up.

Prospect was able to take advantage of a Notre Dame team that was missing its starting backcourt.

Leading 16-10 with 5:23 left in the first half, Prospect turned up the pressure. The Knights force 9 turnovers down the stretch while going on a 13-0 run to close out the half with a 29-10 lead.

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Prospect also got big performances from Owen Schneider and Alex Georgakas. Schneider scored 12 of his 21 points in the first half while Georgakas would net 8 of his 15 points.

"We got a lot of days of practice in," Schneider said. "We all felt ready for today."

Georgakas, who hit a trio of 3-pointers said that Schneider's ability to drive inside and kick the ball out gave him some open looks.

"Owen driving and kicking really helped," Georgakas said. "I think I had a lot of nice open looks which gave us a good lead."

Notre Dame, which was also short-handed when it beat Mather on Monday in the opening round of the tournament, tried to capture that magic in the second half.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Dons, who trailed Prospect 35-14 early in the third quarter, got as close as 46-34 with 4:40 to play. Prospect then went on a 9-0 run to put the game away.

Notre Dame was led by Bryce Coleman, who had 14 points, and Sheridan Dent who had 12 points.

"We didn't value the ball and take care of the ball early," Notre Dame coach Kevin Clancy said. "We did better in the second half. We valued the ball a little more. It's not an easy situation with these guys stepping in. We look forward to getting our guys back."

Owen Walter had 8 points for the Knights while David Marshall added 6 points.

"They battled for being short-handed," Reibel said of the Dons. "We were off for a long time, so we had some time to work on things in practice.

Prospect, which advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2017, will meet Glenbrook North Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.

Glenbrook North played two games on Tuesday. The Spartans could not play until then due to COVID protocols. They beat Hampshire early in the morning and then came back in the afternoon to knock off Deerfield to advance.

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