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Prospect handles Hersey
By Ryan O’Gara | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 12/7/2012 12:09 AM

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Devin O’Hara admitted that it’s taken him a few games for him to make the transition from football to basketball.

The all-area quarterback sat out the first four games of the season to recover from a variety of injuries.

On Thursday night at Hersey’s Ken Carter Gymnasium, O’Hara showed why he could be a key part of a deep Prospect boys basketball team.

O’Hara closed out the third quarter with 7 points to erase a 1-point deficit and along with some hot shooting from Nick Lazarz in the fourth quarter, it was enough for Prospect to run away from Hersey 52-32 in Mid-Suburban East play.

“It took me a few games, but I feel like I’m finally back,” O’Hara said. “It took a lot of hard work.”

Mike Fuerst’s putback gave Hersey (3-4, 1-1) a 24-23 lead with 4:43 left in the third quarter, but it was short-lived.

O’Hara, who scored all 9 of his points in the second half, responded with driving layups on back-to-back possessions.

After two free throws by Colin Olson extended the lead to 29-24, O’Hara drained a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer.

“It was big,” O’Hara said. “It was a good momentum shift going into the fourth, and we finished it off as a team.”

Lazarz capped off the 13-0 run spanning 5:47 with a steal and layup. But his biggest contributions were from beyond the arc.

With starting point guard Tommy Flahaven at home nursing a 102-degree fever, Lazarz took advantage of his extended playing time. He knocked down two big fourth-quarter 3s, the second of which put Prospect (5-2, 2-0) ahead 45-28 with 4:46 left.

“I hit one shot and it just gave me confidence,” Lazarz said after scoring 10 points. “I needed one to get my mind going.”

“He came to play tonight,” said Prospect coach John Camardella of Lazarz. “That’s really what this team has shown what it wants to do and who it wants to be. Guys are ready.”

Bobby Frasco had a game-high 13 points and spent most of the night chasing Hersey leading scorer Alex Sutrinaitis, who finished with 4 points.

The Knights shot 38 percent (17 of 45) from the floor, including 6 of 27 in the first half, but made 14 of their 16 free throws attempts. Mike Houghton (10 points) was 6-for-6.

Hersey battled early on as Fuerst (10 points) got to the free throw line and Quinn Orlandi was a presence down low, but the Huskies were never able to get into a rhythm offensively, shooting just 29 percent (10 of 34).

“I give our kids a lot of credit for battling hard for three quarters,” said Hersey coach Steve Messer. “The last bucket at the end of the third, you could say now that it was the dagger.”