2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/16/2016 11:45 PM

Hoffman Estates, Wheeling win with big finishes

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Daily Herald report

Junior guard Adrian Punzalan scored 12 of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to help visiting Hoffman Estates past Palatine 41-40 in Mid-Suburban West boys basketball Friday.

Punzalan made a pair of 3s in the fourth quarter and made all 6 of his free throws.

James Allen had 5 points in the period for the Hawks, and Rudra Patel scored his only points of the game with a 3 as Hoffman Estates (3-4, 1-2) outscored Palatine 20-4 down the stretch.

The Pirates led 36-21 after three quarters. Palatine (2-7, 1-2) got 10 points apiece from Johnny O'Shea, Cortez Hogans and Scottie Elter.

Wheeling 51, Elk Grove 50: Showing a real knack for dramatic endings, Wheeling did it again.

This time on their home court, the host Wildcats won for the second straight Friday on a buzzer-beating shot.

Last week, it was Deshon Jacobs' last-second 2-point finish at the rim in a 45-43 triumph at Rolling Meadows.

On Friday, T.J. Best took the lead role. His buzzer-beating 3 from 2 feet in front of halfcourt went off glass and through to lift Wheeling to a 1-point win.

The outcome denied Elk Grove its first MSL East win of the season.

Best finished with 15 points -- all of them coming in the second half. Jacobs led Wheeling (5-4, 2-1) with 21 points.

"A lot like last week, we called a timeout with 3.1 seconds left and the kids executed the play perfectly," said Wheeling coach Mike O'Keeffe. "We wanted to get the ball in T.J.'s hands and let him make a play. Michael Best set a great ball screen for his brother, and T.J. made a big-time shot."

Wheeling jumped in front early, with Jacobs leading a disruptive 1-3-1 defense.

Elk Grove adjusted and starting knocking down shots, eventually grabbing a 23-17 lead at the half. And the Grens were still in front, leading by double digits, early in the fourth quarter.

"Our kids remained calm down the stretch," O'Keeffe said. "We turned up the pressure on defense, executed our half court offense and made some big shots."

Sophomore Ryne Singsank led Elk Grove with 13 points and Nico Collazo had 11.

Wheeling is now idle until the opening round of its Hardwood Classic. The Wildcats begin with a game against Clemente on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

St. Viator 51, Benet Academy 37: The Lions went on the road and picked up their second straight victory against an East Suburban Catholic Conference power.

St. Viator (3-6 overall) improved to 2-0 in the league and handed Benet -- the top-ranked team in the Daily Herald's most recent rankings -- its first loss of the season.

The Redwings (7-1) travel to face Conant in a scheduled 6 p.m. tip Saturday.

Glenbrook North 54, Maine West 37: The host Warriors (6-3, 2-1) came up short in Central Suburban North play against the Spartans.

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