It took Prospect’s girls basketball team less than six minutes to gain an 18-3 lead against Bogan at Saturday’s 23rd annual McDonald’s Shootout at Willowbrook High School.
But the Bengals, coached by Gary Bell, answered the bell the rest of the way and left with a 61-44 victory over the Knights in Villa Park.
“That’s not a bad team at all,” said Bell, referring to Prospect. His own team is pretty good, too, as it improved to 17-2. “She (Knights coach Ashley Graham) did a great job gapping us with their man-to-man defense.”
While the Knights were limiting the Bengals to 3 free throws, they got their big lead with some solid inside play by Catherine Sherwood, who scored 9 of her 10 points during the 18-3 run.
The other 9 points came from Michele Molini’s three 3-pointers. The senior guard finished with a game-high 18 points.
Bogan turned up its defensive pressure late in the first quarter and into the second, creating baskets off turnovers. A steal and layup by senior Chelsea Stone tied the game at 20-20 with 5:58 left in the first half.
But the Knights kept hustling, and went into the break leading 33-27 thanks to Molini’s fourth 3-pointer and 2 free throws by Taylor Will in the final minute.
The lead grew to 35-27 at the start of the third quarter (7:48) when Will sank two more free throws.
But that’s when Bogan made its winning move.
The Bengals went on a 29-1 run that didn’t end until Will’s layup with 4:26 left in the game.
Molini’s 18 points were her most since a 17-point effort against Resurrection in the final round of the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
“That was good for Michele,” said Graham, who played in the Shootout at Willowbrook herself for two years as an all-state guard at Buffalo Grove. “The kids found her and she hit some shots. That kind of got our momentum going in the first half.”
The Knights (11-10) were without senior guard Adriane Falagario, who injured her knee in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 69-46 loss to Rolling Meadows.
Graham said Falagario will have an X-Ray or MRI on Monday.
Will chipped in 8 points for the Knights while junior Brooke Greco added a pair of buckets in the fourth quarter. Junior teammate Trisha Benson and sophomore Christina D’Anza each had 2 points in the final quarter.
“In the second half, we got outrebounded and they slowed us down with their zone press,” Graham said.
“We went to a zone trap because they were moving the ball so well,” Bell said. “We were able to stop No. 20 (Molini) from scoring baskets in the second half.”
Bell, whose teams only losses are to Batavia at the Montini tournament and Loyola in a nonconference game, was not all that surprised by his team’s slow start.
“I knew we would start out shaky,” he said. “Because we hadn’t really played any tough games since the Montini tournament.
“The kids kicked it into gear (late in the first quarter). We’ve been practicing for something like this. We’ve had a our first six players being down 20 points and trying to catch up. So that’s why they didn’t panic this game.”
Stone and sophomore Brittany Bryd led the balanced Bogan offense with 13 points apiece while Breyonna Craft had 12 and Cincinnati-recruit Brandy Tarver added 10.
“They were a good team,” said Molini, who will play at Wisconsin-Whitewater next season. “They have a lot of depth and are very athletic. We weren’t as aggressive as we wanted to be rebounding. We’ve been practicing a lot on playing as a team, but it was difficult for us to rebound.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.