Prospect holds off Hoffman Estates

It was rookie night in Hoffman Estates Tuesday.

First-year head coach Brad Rathe's Prospect Knights edged first-year head coach Peter McBride's Hoffman Hawks 40-36 in a Mid-Suburban League boys basketball crossover battle. Prospect's Owen Schneider hit a pair of free throws with 2.7 seconds left to clinch the victory.

"It's tiring," said Rathe, who an assistant at Prospect for 14 seasons. "I had my own way of doing things. I had my little stat sheet and that helped me focus on the game. It's different, because I am trying to get opinions from everyone else because I was there too. It is fun through. I just need to get in better shape."

Both teams struggled to get the ball in the basket in the first half as Prospect led 15-11 at the break.

Prospect (4-3), which has now won three in a row, scored three quick baskets to begin the game. The Knights then went scoreless for just over 8 minutes.

Hoffman Estates (5-2) chipped away to take an 11-7 lead with just under four minutes left in the half. The Hawks then went scoreless themselves as Prospect regained the lead at the half.

Schneider got the Knights off to a solid start in the second half. His 3-pointer along with a putback by David Marshall and then another basket by Schneider gave the Knights a 22-13 lead.

"Our team did a good job of adjusting to their pressure," said Schneider, who finished with 16 points. "Our coaches did a great job of drawing up what will get our guys into open spots."

Again, Hoffman chipped away. Preet Brahmbhatt drilled a pair of 3s from the corner and Darien Irvin hit a short jumper and the Hawks tied it at 28 just before the end of the third quarter.

It was 30-30 early in the fourth quarter when Prospect made another quick run.

Owen Walter and Marshall each hit layups and Schneider dropped a pair of free throws for a 36-30 lead with 3:01 to play.

Hoffman's pressure and some missed free throws by Prospect opened the door for the Hawks. D.J. Wallace helped the Hawks fly right through it with a steal and dunk to make it 37-36 with 16 seconds to play.

Schneider then sealed it, hitting 3 of 4 free throws in the final 9 seconds to clinch the win.

"There are always things that you leave these games wanting to do better," Rathe said. "Some silly turnovers down the stretch, but at the end of the day going into a West gym and getting a win ... we are going to take it."

Patrick Freeman had 7 points for Prospect while Alex Georgakas added 5 points.

McBride, whose team got out of the gate quickly to begin the season, winning its first four games, said that his team is learning right along with him.

"I have always been a high-energy guy, so the part being in the game is a lot of fun,", McBride said. "But in terms of running a program I am learning a lot. We are finding out how important daily habits are and how that translates into big moments in the games we have had."

Mike Vukovic led Hoffman with 11 points and Yashua Pettit-Taylor had 8 points

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