Boys' basketball battles Bison

By Jack Mathews and Aungelina Dahm
Executive Sports Editor and Staff Writer
The Knights had seen all kinds of different defenses try and contain Mike LaTulip and the Prospect offense prior to Friday night’s 68-53 win against the Bison at Buffalo Grove. So when Buffalo Grove came out playing a box and one the Knights were eager to accept the challenge.“We’ve seen just about every defense that we could possibly see this year and tonight was just another example of that,” head coach John Camardella said.  “We weren’t expecting a box and one from BG tonight but we felt like it was just another road we had to cross.”The Knights had a tough time crossing that road early in the game and at the end of the quarter both team were tied at 14-14.  Even though LaTulip struggled to find his shot in the first half because of the Bison’s high pressure defense and double teams the Knights supporting cast led by senior Brad Reibel (15 points, 7 rebounds) stepped up in a big way.“It’s awesome,” Reibel said describing how LaTuilp opens the floor for the rest of the team.  “Its key because it helps me get shots off and it helps everyone else on the team get shots off because they are guarding [LaTulip] so tight.”
The Bison’s physical play kept the game close and they were only down six going into the fourth quarter. Then junior Devin O’Hara (10 points, 6 rebounds) started off a 13-2 run during a two minute span in the fourth quarter as the Knights pulled away.  LaTulip, who was able to find his shot in the second half, scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth helping the Knights get their sixth win in seven games.
“LaTulip is such a good player,” Buffalo Grove head varsity coach Ryan O’Connor said. “ I think we did a decent job of just kind of staying in his pocket. I think what kind of hurt us all was ultimately the rebounds.”

Winning six of the last seven games they have played, there must have been a key strategy the team has used to stay on top.

“The play is called The End,” said Camardella. “We use it to decoy Mike. We use him as the crosser, and what that does then is make defense focus on him, and then what you’ll see is other guys rotate lower, and then that’s when our guys are getting the layups. It’s just a way to create space.”

In order for Buffalo Grove’s defense to try to get on top of things, they had to come up with what to do, and fast.

“ [LaTulip] is difficult to guard for sure,” O’Connor said. “We put our quickest guy on him, but we were in foul trouble. That’s what was really getting us down.”

 However, the Bisons used the box-and-one as their own secret weapon, and LaTulip didn’t handle it very well.

Buffalo Grove used it well, but played it a little too hard, recieving 15 fouls on that play alone.

 There were around 40 fouls total that night, with the referees calling almost everything they saw.

“It was tight, and forced us to play with some lineups that we weren’t really used to playing with but, so be it,” said Camardella about the callings of the refs. “We won by 15 anyway.”

“[Early on] they took us out of our flow and credit them for keeping the game close,” Camardella said.  “But once we got into that flow I feel like the game took care of itself.”