Basketball is a game of runs.
Palatine head coach Eric Millstone and Waubonsie Valley's Chaz Taft would agree.
In a contest that went back and forth, Palatine came through with the biggest surge to beat the Warriors 66-56 in the Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Tournament Monday night at Palatine.
The Pirates (1-0) used a 16-0 run to start the fourth quarter to take a 54-40 lead with 3:11 left in the game.
Waubonsie (0-1) pulled to within 59-54 with 1:04 left on the strength of 8 points by Matt Gialamas (27 points, 4 rebounds) during a 11-2 run.
The Pirates' Chris Macahon converted 5 of 6 free throws in the last 47 seconds and Dondre Watson (14 points) hit 2 of 2 to close out the game.
"You have to weather the bad and not get too high on the good," Millstone said. "Give them credit. They came back and cut it to 5 points. We're going to go through spells like that."
Palatine built a 32-25 halftime lead to ease ahead on a 6-3 run to end the first half.
After the break the Warriors came out aggressive and hit the boards grabbing 11 rebounds and getting second-chance points despite shooting 7-of-18 in the quarter.
They led 40-38 on Gialamas' layup with 46 seconds left.
"We played hard and were able to get back in the game with our defense," Taft said. " We talked at the end of the game that we have to make better adjustments."
Sophomore Matt Ulrich (12 points, 2 steals) was a key component in Palatines fourth-quarter surge. Junior Justin Chaney (8 points, 5 rebounds) converted on a 3-point play for a 41-40 lead with 6:59 left in the game.
Ulrich connected on a 3-pointer for a 44-40 lead. His steal and score followed by the final basket of the run gave Palatine its 54-40 lead.
"It helped be coming off the bench after seeing the flow of the game," Ulrich said. "The game just kind of came to me. As I went along I felt more comfortable."
"We knew we have some skilled players on this year's team," said Macahon who led the Pirates with 18 points. "We knew this game would be a battle. When they made the run at the end we were resilient."
"I liked what I saw in our balance scoring," Millstone added. "And how we shot the ball."
Palatine shot 20-of-41 from the field for 48 percent and hit 23-of-30 free throws including 13-of-16 in the fourth quarter.
The bench players contributed 23 points.
The Warriors connected on 40 percent (22-of-55) from the field. Jay DeHaan was their other double-figure scorer with 16 points.