By Neel Thakkar
Playing Stevenson for the regional championship on Thursday, the girls’ basketball team had the advantage of experience.
Though the team had won the regional title last year and had beaten Stevenson (in double overtime) earlier this season, Thursday night’s game also marked the first time that many of the Lady Knights got serious varsity playing time.
With junior Sarah Winans sidelined after an injury during the second quarter and juniors Marissa Pettenuzzo and Sarah Hunt in foul trouble, players like sophomore Jessica Petrovski (7 points) stepped up to fill the gap, supported by strong play from seniors Rachel Hunt and Lexi Glennon. The combined effort was good for a 42-38 Prospect win.
The Knights came out strong from the start, according to Glennon, and built up a sizable lead at the half.
“We just kept pushing,” Glennon said.
The early lead allowed the team to survive a late surge by Stevenson to claim the win.
The same advantages that played into this game will also transfer to the next game. That game will be against Barrington, who did Prospect a favor by beating Wheeling, the only team the Knights were winless against among the list of potential sectional opponents. On the other hand, Prospect beat Barrington only last month, 35-28.
“[Playing them earlier] helps because you get to see what type of game they play,” Glennon said. In the case of the Mustangs, Glennon said the Knights will have to focus on rebounding and defensive effort – the same goals the team met against Stevenson.
Though beating Barrington won’t be easy – they did just beat Wheeling, one of the state’s best teams, after all – the Knights are encouraged by the matchup.
“We know we can beat them,” Glennon said.