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updated: 1/31/2011 10:55 PM

Prospect takes command at Maine South

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By Michael Eaken

Prospect was in control of the Maine South regional from start to finish, and freshman Gianna Scala put the exclamation point on the Knights' performance with a state-worthy floor routine Monday.

Scala took first at the Mid-Suburban League meet on floor (9.55), and the Knights freshman had no letdown on this night.

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Scala took first on the floor (9.575), leading the Knights to their third consecutive and fifth overall regional title with 143.0 points in Park Ridge.

Prospect advances to the Niles North sectional at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday.

"I told her, 'You're striving for a 10.0 every time you compete on the floor'," said Prospect coach Randy Smith of Scala's floor routine. "That's her goal. She had one little slip tonight, but she's putting it all together."

Host Maine South (129.0) took second, followed by Niles West (125.6) and Hoffman Estates (107.4).

Scala had a fall on the beam, but the freshman came back to hit a double back on her first pass on the floor, then threw a front with a full twist, and completed a eye opening routine with a double full.

"I was a little shaky after beam," said Scala who finished second in the all-around (36.225), adding first on the bars (9.15) and a second on the vault (9.175). "It just made me want to come back on floor even more, I knew I had to pick myself up and nail it."

Sophomore Meggie Kania also came up big for Prospect by taking first in the all-around (36.275), adding a first on the vault (9.225), a pair of seconds on the beam (9.15) and floor (9.325), and a fourth-place finish on the bars (8.575).

Senior Christina Pekar added to the Knights' attack by taking third in the all-around (35.40), adding a first with solid beam (9.45), taking third on the floor (8.975), and fourth on the vault (8.625).

Freshman Jackie DiFonzo (8.825) and junior Lauren Johnson (8.8) completed a sweep of the top five spots for the Knights on the floor by going 4-5, and Johnson added a third-place finish on the bars (8.65), with senior Sarah Pekar coming back from an ankle injury to add a third-place finish on the vault (8.65) in a dominant performance for Prospect.

"I think we really support each other," said Kania. "We just went out there and performed our best."

Maine South sophomore Haleigh Sir took fourth in the all-around (34.575), a second on the bars (9.1) and fourth on the beam (8.5).

"I'm definitely getting more confident," said Sir. "I've been working hard on the bars and it's coming together."

Niles West Callie Sher took fifth in the all-around (33.675); also adding a pair of fifth-place finishes for the Wolves on beam (8.35) and bars (8.525). Junior Kelly Sanks added a fifth place for the Wolves on the vault (8.525).

Hoffman Estates continues to make improvements, and the Hawks are looking for bigger things next season.

"We will continue to set the bar a little bit higher next season," said first year Hoffman Estates coach Natalie Balsley, whose team will return its complete lineup next season. "We'll continue to add tricks and continue to work really hard."

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