Sports Editor & Staff Writer
The mood of the night was set the minute The Underground (The U) stepped foot into Prospect. As students started to file into the commons, it was clear that Friday’s boys’ basketball game against Hersey to start conference season was going to be special.
The excited students cheered the team onto the buses with the help of the drumline and started up their cars to make the road trip to Hersey. As the students arrived and received their free t-shirt, they piled into the stands to cheer on the Knights. From the start, it was apparent that Prospect had taken over their rivals’ home.
Backed by the fans, Prospect Senior forward Danny Thomas had an electric first half performance, with 10 points to lead the Knights to a 59-52 victory.
“My teammates put me in a good position to score,” Thomas said, “I didn’t let them down.”
Throughout the first quarter, no one seemed to be able to gain momentum, as Hersey’s junior guard Payton Haas contributed to the team’s first half scoring with 11 points going 3-3 from the 3 point line. At the end of the first quarter, Hersey was up 17-10.
Throughout the second quarter bench, players on Prospect came in hot. With the Knights down by 5, junior Grant Miller hit a big three to fuel the Knights’ comeback.
“‘Mills’ [Miller] again! ‘Mills’ comes in and hits a three,” Senior Bobby Frasco said describing the support from the bench, “‘Nicky La’ [Lazarz] comes in and plays his [explicit] off on D. We’re just clickin’.”
By the end of the half, the Knights led 30-29.
Frasco’s first half scoring deficiency proved to be a fluke when he came out in the second half amped. Frasco ended with 15 points, 9 of which coming in the second half, and contributed big shots for the team down the stretch.
A crucial run came in the beginning of the third quarter when the Knights outscored the Huskies 5-1 with a big three coming from Frasco.
The Knights really sealed the deal toward the end when they went on a 7-1 scoring run. Thomas had a huge lay-up off a break-away and also hit two clutch free throws with about 40 seconds left in the game.
Junior play came up big Friday night with junior forward Kyle Formanski finishing with 12 points and junior guard Kyle Beyak with 8.
“That’s big time,” coach John Camardella said, “That’s two juniors combining for 20 [points] in our first real conference game.”
The energy in the gymnasium was at its highest during the final minute of the game. Chants from The Underground drowned out any other noise in the gym. The Knights forced Hersey to miss tough shots and made big ones of their own to secure the victory, but the team and the fans weren’t quite done yet.
With six seconds left in the game, Frasco sent a Hersey lay-up flying as he swatted it into the stands. After that, Prospect students could not be contained, and as the final buzzer rang to end the game, they stormed the court hugging and high-fiving players and other fans.
“There’s nothing like it,” Camardella said describing the fan section Friday night, “The U is unmatched. I’ve yet to see a student section in basketball provide as much support as The Underground.”