By Brian Thomas
On Thursday night at Rolling Meadows, the boy’s basketball team won what turned out to be a close game at the end. They won 59-58. They led the entire game and played very strong in the first three quarters and went into the 4th quarter with an 11-point lead over the Mustangs.
But the Mustangs didn’t go away quietly, coming all the way back and outscoring Prospect 28-18 in the 4th quarter, to lose by just one. A big reason that Meadows came back was because of senior Ritchie Kemph. He had 26 points on the night and the Knights had no answer for him according to Prospect’s head coach, John Camardella.
“We were throwing everything at him,” said Camardella. “We had a lot of different guys guard him and we tried a lot of different things but we couldn’t stop. He’s a heck of a player.”
Another reason the Mustangs came back was due to Prospect not being able to close them out. Senior Joe LaTulip said a big part of not closing out the game was the Prospect defense.
“We weren’t doing what we were doing earlier in the game,” said LaTulip. “We stopped helping on defense and our transition defense wasn’t very good. We needed to find our man in transition and we didn’t do that.”
Camardella also believes that the defense was a problem.
“Our help side defense completely went away in the 4the quarter,” said Camardella. “And we didn’t do a good job of making defensive adjustments down the stretch. We also could have taken better care of the ball in the 4th quarter.”
Despite their bad defensive play late in the game, the Knights offense looked good. They had 11 assists and only 7 turnovers. LaTulip said that it was fun to be a part of.
“Our ball movement was great,” said LaTulip. “Our shot selection was great all game and we got our guys the ball where they can execute and make things happen.”
“We looked good on offense tonight,” said Camardella. “I was pleased to see us cut down on turnovers and we shared the ball very well tonight.”
Even though it was not a pretty win, the Knights will still take it, according to Camardella.
“A win is still a win,” said Camardella. “It is a huge win for us though, especially considering it was an MSL game on the road.”
Senior Nsenzi Salasini agreed with Camardella.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game and we could have done a better job of closing it out,” said Salasini. “But it’s a win regardless and it puts us at 2-0 in the East. Our goal is to go 10-0 in the East, and at 2-0, we are off to a good start.”