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Mundelein basketball team progressing along learning curve

Mundelebasketball players have been doing some good things this summer under first-year head coach Corey Knigge. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE

Mundelein basketball players have been doing some good things this summer under first-year head coach Corey Knigge. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO

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Updated: August 12, 2013 6:55AM

One of the highlights of the summer prep basketball season is the Mundelein Shootout.

This year’s tournament, won by New Trier, featured high-quality play, including a solid showing by the home team, which is retooling with a new coach and almost a completely new set of players.

Mundelein beat Zion-Benton in the tourney quarterfinals, and then lost to Highland Park in overtime in the semifinals.

When it was over, Mundelein first-year head coach Corey Knigge had this to say about the event: “I was happy with how it went. Hopefully, we can build on it next year and get some more teams. I thought things ran smoothly, and we had some competitive games.”

Knigge said it’s been a good summer for his squad, which lost seven of its top eight players to graduation.

“I think our guys need to learn to fight through fatigue, which is why I’m happy we ended the tournament the way we did,” he said. “We came up short against Highland Park, but the effort was there. It wasn’t always there earlier in the week, and that’s something we can’t afford. We have to bring it every day.”

The coach noted that his team was routed by Highland Park earlier in the week at the Stevenson Summer League, and showed some moxie to play into OT in the tournament.

“After taking them to overtime on Saturday I told the guys ‘There’s your proof that when you play hard, you can hang with these guys,’” he said.

“As a team, overall, our summer was productive. I think we learned a lot about ourselves. Those guys had a lot of questions about how good we were going to be with all the guys we lost. We were pretty successful out at Northern Iowa, and I think that helped give them some confidence, that hey, we can compete and things will be all right.”

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