Drucker steps up for Prospect in Schneider's absence, helps beat Libertyville
On Wednesday night Prospect suffered a big blow when junior guard Ben Schneider suffered a left knee injury. Schneider is expected to miss most of the season following surgery on Monday.
Senior Jerry Drucker was ready when Prospect coach Bras Rathe penciled his name in the starting lineup.
Drucker responded with 15 points and 7 rebounds in the Knights 41-30 win at the 46th annual St. Viator Thanksgiving Tournament.
"When I heard he was injured," Drucker said, "I felt I would take his role. We had to step up because we wanted to win this one for Ben."
"Jerry was very good for us," Rathe said. "He was confident from the start. That's the kind of a player he is. He didn't have much of a chance last year due to injuries. In our first two games he played very well coming off the bench."
Drucker scored 11 points in the first half as the 3-0 Knights opened a 22-14 lead.
Libertyville (2-1) stayed close and trailed 8-7 after the first quarter. Cold shooting and long dry spells plagued the Wildcats, who shot 6 of 19 in the first half.
The third quarter found Libertyville shooting 1 of 5 with four turnovers and trailed 31-16.
"Not having Schneider hurt them," said Libertyville coach Brian Zyrkowski. "But Drucker stepped up for them. They were very physical with us for about two and one half quarters. When we started to match them we played better. We went through some stretches where we didn't score which hurt. We're a young team and we will get better."
Junior Liam Hansen led Libertyville with 14 points. Sophomore Bryce Wegrzyn scored 7 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Aidan Walter scored 9 points, and Drew Terpins 8 for the Knights.
Prospect which shot 14 of 36 outrebounded Libertyville 28-18.
"Our team has really bought into the defense," Rathe said. "We played and rebounded so hard in this game."
"Defense is our suite," Drucker said. "We have really good chemistry and we can all score. We have some good building blocks for the future."
Prospect will finish out the tournament at 1:30 p.m. Saturday when the Knights face Proviso West.