Palatine lives by its word, wins at Schaumburg
If you visit the Palatine High School basketball website, you'll find the motto 'Play Hard, Play Smart, Play Together' on its opening page.
Living up to that mantra carried the visiting Pirates on Thursday night.
On the strength of a 10-4 finish over the final 2:55 that included an 8-for-8 effort at the foul line, Palatine bested Schaumburg 46-41 in a Mid-Suburban West battle.
"It is more about coming together, trusting one another, having toughness in grinding out a win," said Pirates coach Eric Millstone afterwards.
For Palatine (4-3, 1-1), the grinding began in period number 3 as the Pirates battled back from deficits of 4, 5, and 6 points to finally take the lead at 29-28 on the fourth 3-pointer from senior guard Charlie Van Dyke (team-high 14 points) with 1:52 to go in the quarter.
The game had 4 ties from there until the home team's Kameron Powell hit 1 of 2 at the foul line, giving the Saxons (1-6, 0-2) their final lead of the night at 37-36.
From that moment on, the Pirates displayed their free throw proficiency, beginning with Van Dyke's final 2 points at the line, which gave Palatine the lead for good with 2:08 remaining at 38-37. Josh Turner made a layup 25 seconds later to make it a 3-point game, and Matt Ulrich close out Palatine's scoring with the final 6 points at the foul line.
"Our guys really did a great job at the line tonight (11-for-11 overall)," Millstone said. "We were patient and were able to get things where we wanted them late."
For Schaumburg, the loss marked another tough setback in a season in which where 4 of its 6 losses have been by less than 10 points.
"We've been there before this season," first-year coach Wade Heisler said. "What we need to do is keep at it like the stonecutter -- keep chipping away at it, keep working hard, keep staying positive."
Leading the way in defeat for the Saxons was Powelll; the 6-foot-2 junior finished with a game-high 17 points. Freshman call-up Hezzy Trotter added 13.
"They both have a very high up side," Heisler said. "Kameron has really worked hard to improve his game during the off-season, and when you speak with Hezzy you can't help but walk away impressed with the basketball IQ that he already has as a freshman."