Elk Grove pushes past Prospect in second half

By Jack Mathews
Executive Sports Editor
Everything started to go as planned for the Knights when they visited Elk Grove to play the Grenadiers Friday night. The Knights got off to an early lead, Mike LaTulip broke Prospect’s all time leading scorer record early in the second quarter and they finished the first half with a 16 point lead, 40-24.
A new Elk Grove team came out for the second half, however, and penetrated the Knight’s interior defense time and time again to score 51 points in the second half and win the game  75-71 leaving head coach John Camardella at a loss for words after the game.
“I don’t quite know how to put to words what we just endured in the 2nd half other than ‘Wow’.  Camardella said.  “We executed our game plan to near perfection in the first half.”
The Grens stepped up their defense in the second half holding LaTulip to just 3-15 shooting and taking advantage of the Knight’s turnovers by turning them into easy baskets on the other end, allowing them to shoot 69%.  The Grens were led by senior Zach Solorio who scored 26 of his 28 points in the final two quarters.
“Elk Grove had every reason play the game out and what they were able to do down the stretch is something I will remember for a long time,” Camardella said.
Elk Grove’s biggest lead was 63-55 after an 11 point run in the middle of the fourth quarter.  Good defense by senior Jack Landwehr (12 points) and senior Brad Reibel scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter helped the Knights make it a one possession game in the final minutes, but it turned out to be too much too early and too little too late for the Knights.
The Knights can no longer win the MSL because of a Rolling Meadows win on Friday but are still able to tie if they were to win their next two MSL games and the Mustangs were to lose their next two.  One of those games includes the final MSL game of the regular season for both teams as they play each other at Rolling Meadows on Febuary 17th.  The seeds for the state tournament come out on Wednesday where the Knights hope they can make a run.
“This game is a great opportunity for us to handle this disappointment and see if we can summon some energy for the state tournament coming up,” Camardella said.
Missed LaTulip’s winning shot or just want to see it again?Click  Here or just view it on the side of this story. Video was shot by Staff Writer Peter Fusilero.