Huskies prevail over Knights in overtime


By Anthony Santangelo, staff writer
Hersey erased a 10-point lead in the last three minutes to beat Prospect 73-71 in an overtime thriller Friday night in Arlington Heights.The Knights were confident coming into the game but did not finish the way they wanted to. Head coach John Camardella was tossed from the game after receiving 2 technical fouls that allowed the Huskies to make key free throws to keep their hopes of winning alive.
“[The players] were fine,” said Assistant Coach Brad Rathe. “We have a pretty veteran group [and] a lot of seniors play. I don’t think they skipped a beat. They responded well.”
Many of these calls on the Knights made some of the Hersey players step up when their team needed it the most.
Hersey trailed 57-47 with 2:57 left in regulation against the Knights. The Huskies cut the lead to 1 as Hersey’s Grant Wagner got 7 of the next 9 points for the Huskies. Junior David Swedura answered with a bucket of his own that gave Prospect a 3-point lead with :59 remaining in regulation. With some made free throws by the Huskies, they tied the game with :45 left. A 30 foot missed buzzer beater shot by Hersey senior Joe Coffaro sent the game into overtime.
The Huskies took control of overtime and were up by 5 with a 1:43 left. With a three ball  from senior Frankie Mack and a basket by Swedura, the Knights tied up the game. Hersey managed to get an inside basket with :43 in OT, making it 70-68. The Knights were down 4 in the final seconds of the game, that even Mack’s 2 point buzzer beater shot was not enough to get a winning result.
Prospect, with a 3-3 record, had an overall great offensive game according to Rathe. Mack led the Knights with 27 points.
Rathe thought that their offensive play was everything they need to win that game.
“Offensively ,we were great,” Rathe said. “We got the shots that we wanted. We got to the hoop. We got kick out threes. We got what we wanted.”
    The Knights were able to put up 71 points, but Hersey was able to make big shots, including
“It was a series of clutch shots from them that they had to make to get back into [the game],” Rathe said.
Coffaro’s fast start helped Hersey get the upper hand. He score 14 of the Huskies 23 points in the first quarter. Prospect made a key adjustment to cool him off.
“One word: Whitebloom. That was the guy,” Rathe said. “[Coffaro] still got a couple [points] after that, but Whitebloom is the best defender on the team.”
   Rathe understands that they need to finish off games when they are up and be able to put pressure on the other team.
  “We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to score,” Rathe said. “We have to do a better job defending the paint and then making teams feel uncomfortable. That’s what we’ve said. Hersey was comfortable tonight.”
Senior Matt Szuba was not impressed with the Knights’ defensive play.
“It was the first half, all around defensively we could have played better,” Szuba said.
Though this game has important implications on division standings, Rathe still has a positive outlook.
“The bottom line is, it is a loss in our division…it’s just one,” Rathe said. “We’ve got nine more to go.”