Persistence paid off for Palatine on Monday in the opening round of the Class 4A boys basketball playoffs at Rolling Meadows.
Palatine was miserable from 3-point range until late in the third quarter. But the Pirates finally regained their shooting touch, just in time to rally past Grayslake North 39-37.
Palatine (13-15) will meet St. Viator in the regional semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Rolling Meadows.
"We talked about it not mattering on how we get it done -- to just get it done," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "It wasn't pretty. To our kids' credit, they did enough to grind it out."
On Monday, the Pirates missed their first 16 shots from outside the arc and found themselves in a deep hole, trailing Grayslake North 27-14 with 2:17 left in the third quarter.
Palatine scored the next 6 points and got a huge lift when Justin Chaney dropped in a 3 just before the end of the third quarter to cut the lead to 27-21.
"I got in did and what I needed to do," said Chaney, who followed up with another 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 points. "I knew my role and that was to get my team going."
And get going they did, as the Pirates began to nail their triples, converting 5 of their next 8.
Palatine went on 15-2 run, tying the game at 29 on a 3 by Kyle Leber with 5:53 left. The Pirates then took their first lead on a 3 by Chris Macahon with 2:38 to play to make it 32-31.
"We couldn't find our stroke," said Macahon, who finished with 14 points. "We got some good shots. We just finally made some threes."
A basket by Grayslake North's Aidan Einloth (16 points) put the Knights back out on front 33-32 with 2:19 to play. Macahon answered with his second three, putting the Pirates up 35-33 with 1:30 left.
Grayslake North (9-18) cut the lead to one on two separate occasions, the final time with 22.6 seconds left to make it 37-36. Macahon popped in a pair of free throws just 2 seconds later and Einloth came back with 2 free throws of his own to make it 39-37 with 6.9 seconds left.
After a missed Palatine free throw with just over 6 seconds left, Einloth took the rebound and drove toward the Palatine basket. He launched a 3 at the buzzer, but the ball hit the back of the rim and bounded away.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half.
Grayslake North turned the ball over 10 times in the first quarter. But thanks to three 3-point shots by the Knights and 1-of-12 shooting by Palatine, Grayslake North led 9-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Palatine finally found some of its shooting touch in second quarter. Trailing 14-4 with 6:33 left in the half, the Pirates went on a 7-2 run to make it 16-11 with 2:40 left in the half.
A 3-point play by Graylake North's Bobby Krebs (8 points) with just over minute left in the half were the final points of the half as Knights led 19-11.
"I didn't think we took care of the ball well enough tonight," said Grayslake North coach Todd Grunloh, whose team committed 25 turnovers. "We didn't make adjustments to our passes. We kept trying to pass no matter how many white jerseys were there. Other than that, I thought we played real hard."