Boys' basketball clinches East

Photo courtesy Tafadzwa Usayiwevu
Photo courtesy Tafadzwa Usayiwevu

By Brian Thomas

Sports Editor

“We knew that tonight could be a special night for us,” senior Nsenzi Salasini said.  “It was senior night, our last home game, and we had a chance to clinch the MSL East for the third year in a row.”

 What a special night it was for the boys’ basketball team, especially for the seniors on senior night.  The Knights got the win 55-50 over Wheeling, in what was a close game throughout.

 “It felt great to get the win on senior night,” senior Kevin Matkovic said.  “It was great winning our last home game as well as clinching the East and go out on a winning note.”

 The Knights came out of the gate fast. They opened up the game on a 9-0 run.  Wheeling answered with its own 9-0 run on three consecutive three pointers which made the score 15-13 at the 5:41 mark in the second quarter.

 The second quarter went back and forth but Knights took a narrow lead at the half, 25-24, due to two free throws made by junior Terry Redding.

 From that point on, the Knights led the rest of the game.  The game was far from over though.  Wheeling still had a chance with the score 53-50, but senior Jack Redding came up big at the free throw line with five seconds left in the game.  He sank both free throws to lock up the game and the East for Prospect.

The Knights leading scorer was sophomore Mike LaTulip with 20 points.  Salasini and Redding both finished with 10.

There are still things the Knights need to work on, says Matkovic.

“We really need to value the ball more,” Matkovic said.  “We made a lot of turnovers and took a lot of bad shots.”

“We need to stop giving the other team second chances,” Salasini said.  “We gave up way too many offensive rebounds tonight and we gave up to many threes.  We have to do a better job of defending the perimeter.”

Coach John Camardella was really happy for the seniors.

“They accomplished their goal,” Camardella said.  Their goal was to win the East and they did.  They won it back to back years and that is really special.”

The Knights now look forward to the long awaited conference championship game against Fremd, at Fremd on Feb 24.