At halftime, Prospect sophomore Taylor Will had a question for her coach, Ashley Graham.
“She asked me if there was anything she could to do make her free throws (after going 1-of-6 in the first half),” Graham said. “And like any coach would say, I just told her it’s very mental, you’ve got to be locked in.”
Sure enough, with 0.9 seconds left in Tuesday’s Mid-Suburban League girls basketball crossover at Barrington, Will locked up the 1-point win for the Knights.
With — you guessed it — a free throw.
After missing the first of two, Will sank the second to give the Knights a dramatic 40-39 come-from-behind victory.
The 5-foot-10 sophomore scored 10 of her team’s 12 points in the final quarter and finished with a game-high 17 points.
“That tells me something about Taylor,” Graham said. “To miss the first one and then come back and make the second, you really have to be mentally locked in.”
Just getting locked into position to win the game was quite a feat for the Knights, who trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half.
With the game tied at 39, Prospect (11-7) missed a shot with seven seconds left and freshman Megan Talbot grabbed the rebound for Barrington.
The Fillies (12-7) called timeout with 4.3 seconds left to set up a final play.
But Knights junior guard Kristen Frasco was able to get a steal and the ball eventually went out of bounds off a Barrington player with 2.2 seconds near the Prospect basket.
The Knights set up their final play with 2.2 seconds left and Will was fouled driving to the basket with 0.9 seconds .
“After missing those frees throw earlier, I was so nervous,” Will said. “That was scary. And then I was so nervous after missing the first one.”
But she focused for the game-winner to give Prospect its fourth straight win.
Prospect closed the first half with a 11-2 run to get to within 22-20 at intermission.
Sophomore Catherine Sherwood (12 points) had 6 points during the rally while Michele Molini (5 points) made a 16-footer and Trisha Benson (6 points) connected on a 12-footer.
Will made a steal and assist on Benson’s fastbreak layup in the third quarter to tie the game at 26-26.
Angie Kirchoff’s 3-pointer gave Barrington a 31-28 lead after three quarters.
“We just decided we wanted to win,” Will said. “We were playing pretty well in the third quarter, and that really got us excited to finish the game. Kristen’s (Frasco) play at the end was huge.”
“Kristen handled the ball extremely well for us,” Graham added. “And she played great defense on Kirchoff. You may not see it in the box score, but Kristen does so many little things for us that we need to win games. She had a great game.”
Kirchoff and freshman Bryana Hopkins led Barrington with 11 points apiece while Alexa Resch added 8.
“I thought Prospect just outplayed us in every aspect,” said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. “They out-hustled us. They had more intensity and executed when they had to and we did not.
“To play so well at Dundee-Crown (Christmas tournament) and then have a lack of intensity is something we must take control of. Until this team understands it has to play all four quarters, we are going to be inconsistent. But Prospect played a great game.”
Graham called it a huge game for her Knights.
“They’re a great team and well-coached,” she said. “Our kids came ready to play after having several days off since the Dundee-Crown tournament (where the Knights were consolation champs). The girls just went out and played hard for each other and they deserved it.
“I really believe it all stemmed from the defense. The girls were so locked into the game plan. We made some adjustments at half and they were so in tune with things, and that triggered the offense. The kids did the things downs the stretch that good teams do.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.