Might want to call it February Madness.
Palatine senior forward Johnny O'Shea will tell you why.
"Absolutely crazy. We practice that play in practice a lot, and it's awesome we were able to execute it at the end," said O'Shea, who popped in 15 points, as the Pirates held off a gutsy Waukegan team for a 47-46 overtime victory in the Class 4A Waukegan regional semifinals on Wednesday night.
Palatine, the seventh seed, improves to 18-11 overall and will face Mid-Suburban League rival Barrington at 7 p.m. Friday for the regional crown. The two teams split a pair of games during the regular season.
"This is what we needed: a big confidence-booster," O'Shea said. "This will really help motivate us moving forward."
With Palatine trailing 46-45 and just 2.7 ticks left in overtime, O'Shea cut across the baseline and took the inbound pass right under the basket for a reverse layup and 47-46 lead.
Then with a tick left, Waukegan tried to inbound the ball, but time ran out. O'Shea was mobbed on the court by his happy teammates.
"Both teams were making big plays at both ends," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "Kind of a sluggish first half, but we ended up executing when it counted the most."
The 11th-seeded Bulldogs (11-15) had taken a 46-45 lead when junior wing Bryant Brown canned a pair of free throws with 7.5 seconds left.
After the Palatine zone defense frustrated Waukegan in the first half, Brown went crazy, scoring 13 of his 14 points in the second half and overtime.
He shared team-high scoring honors with junior guard Jordan Brown, while junior forward Ja'Veon Taylor chipped in 12.
Palatine had held a 20-14 lead at intermission, but Waukegan came out blazing in the third quarter with a 10-0 run to lead 24-20. Jordan Brown culminated the flurry with a putback.
Waukegan's defense held the Pirates to just 1 field goal in the third, as the teams were even at 39-39 heading to the fourth.
The final quarter featured 2 ties and 5 lead changes.
Palatine senior guard Lamon Berry caught fire, scoring 11 of his team-high 17 points. He hit five 3-pointers in the game, including three in the fourth.
Senior forward Cortez Hogans complemented Berry and O'Shea with 9 points and 9 boards.