By Jack Ankony
Executive Sports Editor
Prospect head coach John Camardella did not get the start he wanted out of the Knights against Elk Grove, who they beat 65-41 on Dec. 1.
“Yeah, it was a slow start,” Camardella said. “Elk Grove kind of took us out of a lot of early action, but I was most impressed with the way our guys responded. They missed a lot of shots, we didn’t turn the ball over much just missed some open shots.”
However, a 22-6 run in the second quarter spiked by their 1-3-1 defense that generated five steals, gave the Knights a 32-17 lead at half that would never be taken away.
The Knights added on to their undefeated MSL East record by defeating Elk Grove 75-45. The Knights were lead in scoring by seniors David Swedura with 16 points and Tim Lussenhop with 15 points. Lussenhop credits the Knights’ defensive intensity as a major reason for the victory.
“We used the 1-3-1 defense to try to speed them up and take the game to them,” Lussenhop said.
Lussenhop and senior Jalen McLachlan lead the 1-3-1 defense by generating 16 points off turnovers.
In a game that was in the Knights’ control the entire second half, they were able to earn production from a number of players off the bench. Junior Sam Murray contributed 11 points, and seniors Zach Matters and Pat McPartlin each added six.
“Even with the slow start, you saw that these guys never quit” Camardella said. “I wouldn’t say that we underestimated them, but I would say that basketball is a game of runs…That’s why I love the game because the emotional ups and downs are crazy.”
Camardella credits the spread out scoring in this game to team chemistry developed throughout the season.
“These guys practice so much together,” Camardella said. “They know where each other are going to be, and you saw that ball was just moving a lot.”
Lussenhop displayed this ball movement for the Knights by assisting on four baskets. Camardella explains that the Knights did a good job of recognizing that the middle of Elk Grove’s zone was easily penetrable, leading to good looks inside.
“We noticed that they have really good zone coverage on the edge, but the middle was open,” Camardella said. “If you have the shot [inside], great, if not, kick it out to open shooters and our guys were hitting threes tonight.”
The Knights shot 46% from beyond the arc, lead by Lussenhop and Murray who were each 4-6 and 3-4 from three point land.
Prospect will take on Buffalo Grove next week in a game that Lussenhop has had circled on his calendar all season.
“They were initially the favorites in the [MSL] East heading into the season,” Lussenhop said. “So we kind of took that personal and we’re going to take it to them.”
The Knights currently hold a two game lead on the Bison in the division.
“These are championship type games now,” Camardella said. “We have Glenbrook South on Tuesday coming in here for a tune-up, which I love. Then we will get going for the Bison on Friday. Hopefully this place is rocking.”