Ashley Graham’s first week as Prospect’s girls basketball coach is as busy as its gets.
There probably won’t be too many times in the rest of her career where she’ll send a team out to play five games in one week.
Game No. 4 went into the books on Friday.
It read the same as three others — a win.
Senior guard Michele Molini scored a game-high 19 points while 5-foot-11 sophomore center Catherine Sherwood added 13 as the Knights pulled away for a 53-33 win over Conant in round three of the York Tournament in Elmhurst.
Conant played back and forth with the Knights early and took an 11-10 in the second quarter when sophomore Haley Anderson hit a short bank shot.
“It was a little frustrating but we’ve got to remember it was our third game in a row and fourth of the week,” Graham said of the Knights. “We knew it would take time to get our bodies ready and to warm up.”
Molini answered Anderson’s bucket with her first of a season-high 5 3-pointers to trigger a 14-2 run and the Knights never looked back while improving to 2-1 in the tourney and 3-1 overall with a nonconference win over Libertyville on Monday night.
“We came out a little sluggish,” Molini said. “We had to kick it in and our coach really helped with us that. Everyone was supportive of each other. We knew it wouldn’t be easy because Conant can be a strong shooting team.”
Two free throws by Lexi Zades got the Cougars to within 24-17 but a free throw by Taylor Will (7 points) and 3-pointer by Molini extended the Knights lead back to 28-17 late in the first half.
Prospect kept the pressure on in the third quarter and Will’s driving layup made it 38-21 with 3:21 left.
Molini followed with a 3-pointer for a 20-point cushion, equaling the Knights’ biggest lead of the game.
“I was in motion, I felt it (her shot) and my teammates really helped me by driving to the basket and kicking the ball back out for an open shot,” Molini said.
“We let No. 20 (Molini) get some open shots and she broke our back,” said Cougars coach Dan Travers, whose team is 1-2 in the tourney. “In the first half No. 24 (Sherwood) did some damage to us.”
Sherwood scored the Knights’ first 4 points, and had 11 of her 13 in first 16 minutes.
“She’s great,” Graham said. “We were looking for her inside early. She is a quick and active post so it is difficult to defend her in the post.”
Sherwood’s 3-point play gave Prospect a 16-11 lead.
After a blocked shot by Knights junior Trisha Benson, senior guard Adriane Falagario (6 points) followed with pair of free throws and a nifty backward layup off an inbounds pass from Molini for a 20-11 lead.
Lexi Zades paced Conant with 8 points (two 3 pointers) followed by Anderson (7) and Alissa Chavarria (6), who also had 4 assists. Katie Lomas and DeeDee Durr each had 5 rebounds for the Cougars.
“We just let it get away from us,” Travers said. “Our room for error was small. We had 15 turnovers (10 in the first half). We missed some shots.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t play better. The first quarter we played some tough defense but we’ve got to stay in the game longer than that. We’ve got to work to get better.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.