For three quarters, Prospect and Waukegan played at a breakneck pace.
The Knights were certainly in their comfort zone on their home floor, shooting over 50 percent up to that point.
And the Bulldogs got their share of run-outs that led to several thunderous dunks.
Inbounding the ball up 3 points to start the fourth, Waukegan switched things up by going to a spread offense and essentially running a delay game.
The change threw off No. 9 Prospect, and Jordan Johnson and No. 8 Waukegan dissected the Knights half-court defense in the final quarter to earn a 67-60 victory in the Class 4A Prospect regional semifinal.
They had control of the game at that point, said Prospect forward Devin OHara. They were trying to slow it down, we were trying to speed it up.
Johnson drained a 3-pointer just before the third quarter buzzer to give Waukegan (15-12) its first lead since the beginning of the second quarter.
And the flashy 6-foot point guard, who finished with 16 points and 8 assists, picked up right where he left off in the fourth with 7 points in an 11-3 run that put the game away.
We were giving up the middle too much, said Prospect forward Mike Houghton, who finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds. We werent in the first half at all, but we let them do what they wanted to do to us, which didnt go the right way.
It just slowly got away from us in the second half, said Prospect coach John Camardella. If you asked me to put my finger on it, I couldnt yet. I think its a few things. Thats how the game goes.
That wasnt at all how the game went early on as Bobby Frasco (17 points) hit three first-quarter 3-pointers, the last of which gave Prospect (15-12) a 15-6 lead.
OHara heated up in the second, scoring 11 of his game-high 26 points and helping the Knights to a 36-31 halftime advantage.
Thats exactly how we wanted the game to play out up until halftime, said Camardella, whose team assisted on 9 of their 13 baskets before intermission. Up five, we would have taken that any day.
Like good teams do, Waukegan adjusted at halftime after OHara and Frasco combined for 28 first half points.
We told them dont abandon your teammates, but shade to those (two) guys more, because they were having a field day, said Waukegan coach Ron Ashlaw, who also got 19 points from Quintin Davis and 17 from Jerome Davis.
Waukegan outscored Prospect 20-12 in the third quarter as Houghton and Jake Young (7 rebounds) desperately tried to keep an athletic Waukegan squad off the boards.
With the outcome already decided, OHara gave the home crowd one last thing to cheer about, swishing a 50-footer at the final buzzer.
Im really going to miss it, OHara said. It was a great way to go out. I really just want to thank my teammates, coaches, family and friends for everything. Im really going to miss basketball, but now its time to move on.Waukegan v. Prospect