Seiffert's buzzer-beater in OT sends Palatine past Buffalo Grove
By the time Buffalo Grove's home nonconference boys basketball contest with Palatine was completed Saturday afternoon those in attendance were treated to a back-and-forth battle that wasn't decided until Luke Seiffert's 16-foot jumper at the overtime buzzer gave Palatine a 65-64 win.
"They (Buffalo Grove) just have so many weapons that you gotta account for that. We were exchanging twos for threes," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "At some point something had to give. I thought our guys showed a lot of resolve by getting some stops when we needed it. To make some plays (both) defensively and offensively down the stretch is good to see."
Perhaps one of the better sights that Millstone, a 1988 Buffalo Grove graduate who played for Rich Roberts, saw was the critical double-team on Bison freshman Kam Craft in the closing seconds of regulation after his 12-footer had given the hosts (13-9) a 56-54 lead with two minutes left.
It was the dual effort of 6-foot-2 seniors Ben Storm and Zach Garnmeister (8 points apiece) that necessitated Craft's last-second dish to Tyler Kipley, who missed a 17 -foot off-balance try at the buzzer that created the need for the extra session.
After Palatine's Marshawn Rayford (11 points) hit a 3-pointer half a minute into overtime, Craft, the 6-4 phenom, took over by scoring 7 of his team's 8 points that he topped with a trey that put the Bison ahead 64-61 with 37 seconds remaining.
Craft, who finished with a team-high 28 points, speaks highly of the confidence that both his teammates and his head coach Keith Petersen have in his shooting proficiency.
"It's great that my teammates trust me enough to take the last-second-shot. My coach wants me to take those shots," Craft said. "I put in all the time and effort to practice those shots so when it comes time to do it, I'm excited to take the shot."
For the visiting Pirates (9-13) 6-5 sophomore Julian Campbell matched Craft's outside prowess in the paint as he put together a 28-point, 12-rebound effort that included a pair of free throws that evened things up at 56 with 26 ticks left in regulation, and a crucial putback that put Palatine within 64-63 with 16 ticks left in overtime setting up Seiffert's heroics.
"Last year I came off the bench so I wasn't on anyone's scouting reports," Campbell said. "This year those that guard me come after me every game. So I just gotta do what I gotta do."
In hitting his only shot of the game, Seiffert, a 5-10 sophomore, spoke of the importance that his head coach noted on the seven seconds remaining for the Pirates that came after a Bison turnover that left them at the other end of the floor.
"(Millstone) told me that we had a lot of time," Seiffert said. "Garnmeister made a great screen and I just went and made a play off of that."