Prospect dumps Buffalo Grove for 13th straight win
For the first 23 minutes of Friday night's girls basketball game at the Jean Walker Field House in Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove made sure the outcome against host Prospect was in doubt.
But the Knights, who have proved to never doubt themselves when trailing, finished strong again.
Coach Matt Weber's girls closed out the final nine minutes on a 17-2 run to post a 44-25 win in the Mid-Suburban East matchup.
"East games are always hard," said Weber, whose club was nursing a 27-23 lead with under a minute in the third quarter before its big run that included a big 3-pointer from senior Jess Reizer for a 38-23 lead with 6:34 left in the game.
"Any night a team can get you. That's why it's such a great conference "
It's been a great run for the Knights (14-2, 4-0) who won their 13th straight, while BG stands at 4-11 and 2-2.
"I think our communication on defense really helped us win this game," said Reizer (5 points), who helped the Knights hold the Bison to single digits each quarter.
"And we were able to push the ball forward and get that big run at the end. Making our shots at the end helped us because we didn't hit that many at the start."
In fact, the Knights had only 2 baskets in the first half, both by senior Andie Will, who scored a game-high 15 points with 7-of-7 free throw shooting.
"I thought we remained composed in the first half," Weber said. "Credit Buffalo Grove. I thought they had a great game plan and put us into a little adversity. We just kept talking about remaining calm and confident."
Grace Veller's 16-footer from the baseline and Kim Stuercke's 3-pointer gave BG a 7-2 lead. A short bank shot by Leah McKenna (10 points) gave the Bison a 9-4 lead after one period.
"I thought Kim and Leah did a fantastic job," said BG coach Martha Kelly. "Kim did a good job handling the pressure and I thought Leah had a very good defensive game."
Prospect's only points in the first quarter were 4 free throws by Summer Srodulski (11 points, including a 3-pointer).
The Knights got their first lead (14-13) when Will drove for a layup with 56 seconds left in the first half. It was short-lived however, as sophomore Cassidy Green (10 points) drove the lane for an 8-footer with 33 seconds left to make it 15-14 at intermission.
Reizer's rebound and long pass ahead to Emily Skoog for a layup gave Prospect a 27-21 lead. Skoog's 17-footer from the baseline and Reizer's steal and layup in the final 22 seconds of the third quarter had the Knights in front 31-23 heading into the fourth.
Sophomore Skylar Splinter scored 6 key points in the second half.
"We always talk about how defense will keep you in games," Weber added. "I was proud of our defensive effort,."
Kelly felt her team did exactly what it wanted to do defensively.
"Offensively, we just have to do a better job taking care of the ball," she added. "Too many turnovers. And that just meant not enough shots. And when we got our opportunities to shoot the ball, they just didn't go in. When we get our open looks, we've got to knock them down."