By Paul Evers, sports editor
The Knights now look forward to the start of the IHSA State Playoffs (click here for the state tournament bracket) beginning next Tuesday. The Knights will start the tournament with a regional matchup against the winner of 15th seeded Rolling Meadows and 19th seeded Wauconda at Jean Walker Fieldhouse.
The team has not played against Wauconda this year. However, Prospect has beat the Mustangs twice this year in MSL East play.
The Knights beat Rolling Meadows, at Meadows, 46-36 on Dec 16 and won at home 62-46 on Jan 27.
Senior Antonio Gardner feels that the Knights are the team that everyone wants to have a shot at in the regional.
“There [are] a lot of teams that want to come after us, like Rolling Meadows, they won four in a row, and Buffalo Grove, they’re talented,” Gardner said. “So there [are] a lot of teams coming after us and we just have to stay strong.”
Buffalo Grove comes in as the sixth seed, and is the expected matchup for the Knights in the regional finals. The Knights would have to win their first matchup on Tuesday, and Buffalo Grove would have to beat the winner of 11th seeded Lake Park and 22nd seeded Elk Grove.
The Knights were awarded the third seed in the Robert Morris University Sectional for their efforts this season. If the top seeds win their matchups, the Knights would take on second seeded Conant Cougars in the sectional semifinals and the number one seeded Fremd Vikings in the sectional finals.
The Knights are 1-1 against Conant this year, with the most recent matchup of the two teams coming on Jan 10. The Knights were able to come away with a 61-58 overtime victory. The Knights fell early in the season to the Cougars at the Joe Majkowski Thanksgiving Tournament at St. Viator. In the opening game of the season, the Knights fell 74-63.
The Knights and the Vikings have not had as much history, the only matchup coming in last Wednesday’s MSL Championship Game, where Prospect lost 57-55.
Senior Matt Szuba is looking for his team to rebound, and looking forward to a possible future sectional matchup.
“We’re looking to come out more focused, taking care of the ball much better, and hopefully we see Fremd again,” Szuba said.
Here is the schedule of the Knights’ playoff run with potential early round matchups included. Prospect continues to play until they lose and are eliminated.
Regional Semifinal: Tuesday Feb. 28, 7 p.m. at Prospect High School vs winner of (15) Rolling Meadows and (19) Wauconda.
Regional Final: Friday March 3, 7 p.m. at Prospect High School vs (6) Buffalo Grove or the winner of (11) Lake Park and (22) Elk Grove
Sectional Semifinal: Wednesday March 8, 7 p.m. at Robert Morris University
Sectional Final: Friday March 10, 7 p.m. at Robert Morris University
Super-Sectional: Tuesday March 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Sears Centre Arena
State Semi-Final: Friday March 17, 5:30 p.m. at the Carver Arena in Peoria
State Final: Sat March 18, 7:15 p.m. at the Carver Arena in Peoria