Trotter closes in on 1,000 as Schaumburg dumps Palatine

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/18/2019 9:48 PM
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The hardwood floor at Palatine's gym was no match for Heze Trotter Friday night.

Trotter, a Schaumburg senior guard, crashed to the court midway though the first quarter after being fouled on a drive to the basket.

A substitute came on to take the senior's free throws as he had to be assisted to the bench, but that wasn't the end of the story by any means.

Trotter shook off the effects of the hard foul, returning and leading a fourth-quarter rally by the Saxons.

Schaumburg came away with a 57-49 Mid-Suburban League West boys basketball victory.

"I went up going strong," said Trotter of the drive. "Coach (Wade Heisler) always stresses about going up and finishing strong, so I kind of went up and came down on my elbow.

"They (Palatine) had some big guys down there, My elbow kind of bothered me (thereafter) but I'm a tough guy so I just had to shake it off."

Trotter scored 13 points in the game and now is just 4 short of the 1,000 mark in his career at 996.

"He was a little banged up," said Heisler of Trotter, "but he's a tough kid and he plays through just about anything. He showed a lot of poise down the stretch and that helped us a ton."

Senior Mike Hodges had a terrific game for the Saxons. Hodges scored 13 of his game-high 24 points in the first half as Schaumburg built a double-digit lead.

But Palatine sophomore guard Luke Seiffert had 9 third-quarter points to pace a Pirates charge, and when classmate Julian Campbell hit a momentum-changing 3-pointer at the third period buzzer, the home team trailed just 40-39.

"I thought we really battled," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "We got down double digits but found a way to come back and take the lead."

The Pirates did take the lead, right off the bat in the final period as Josh Rivera opened the quarter with a 3.

The contest then went back and forth in a defensive-minded final period until Trotter took over with 2 minutes left and Schaumburg clinging to a 2-point lead.

First the senior stole the ball in the backcourt and drove for a layup. Then he had another driving layup to extend the advantage, and hit a couple of foul shots moments later.

And when Hodges sank 2 free throws with under a minute remaining, Schaumburg led by double digits again at 56-45.

"Palatine is really good team," said Heisler. "I didn't think we came out in the beginning with enough energy, but some of that was due to them being so well coached and playing so hard. "

The Saxons clamped down on defense in the final minute and Palatine couldn't close the gap.

"We knew we had to get the 'W,' " said Schaumburg junior Shamaree Brown. "It was tough down the stretch but we all had the belief that we were going to pull through."

Seiffert put up a team-high 18 points for Palatine while senior Ben Storm scored 12 points and had 7 rebounds.

"We had some good looks in the fourth quarter that rolled in and out, but you can't pin your chances on whether those shots go in or not," said Millstone. "I was proud of our effort, but Schaumburg just made a few more plays than we did at the end."

Chris Hodges added 10 points to the Schaumburg cause.

"We got away from what Schaumburg basketball is all about," said Trotter of the Palatine comeback. "Late in the game we just stayed disciplined and we were able to pull it together."

"The MSL is a great league," added Heisler. "Any night that you're not on there's a chance you're going to get stung."

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