Hampshire's size gives Palatine fits
Hampshire's big guards ruled the perimeter in a 55-40 nonconference home win over Palatine Saturday.
The Whip-Purs surrounded 6-foot-7 senior Nick Erickson with big teammates: 6-3 senior Jackson Milison, 6-4 senior Collin Woods, 6-5 senior Jeremy Rosa Jr. and 6-4 sophomore Kenyan Davis.
Their combined length and athleticism presented a mismatch for the Pirates, whose starting lineup includes guards who stand 5-9 and 5-10, respectively.
Hampshire (11-3) won its 11th straight game under first-year coach Mike Featherly by holding Palatine (8-6) to 33% shooting from the field (15 of 45) and 17% from 3-point range (3 of 18).
"In practice we've been talking about getting after it on the defensive end like we do every single game and it just clicked," Erickson said. "They weren't making their shots but at the same time that's a credit to our defense. It paid off."
Meanwhile, the Whip-Purs connected on 7 of 14 shots from 3-point range through three quarters to take a 45-33 lead to the final period.
"Their length gave us a lot of problems. I thought they got a lot of shots on their terms," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "We didn't put up much of a fight defensively, but that's a credit to the way they play and they way they're coached. Mike's doing a great job with them."
Hampshire held a slight rebounding edge and turnovers were negligible for both teams. The difference was shooting, particularly when Hampshire needed 2 points.
For instance, Palatine trimmed a 31-22 halftime deficit to 33-28 on consecutive third-quarter buckets from junior guard Luke Seiffert, who led the Pirates with 13 points. Hampshire countered with Erickson 3-pointers from the top of the arc on successive possessions to restore an 11-point lead.
Hampshire, which shot 49% from the field (22 of 45), maintained a double-digit cushion thereafter.
"I thought we shot the ball pretty well," said Rosa Jr., whose game-high 15 points included a first-quarter 3-pointer. "We gave it to the next guy who was wide open and our guys were hitting our shots. We were moving the ball a lot."
Erickson finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks, and junior Zachary Bailey scored 10 points off the bench for Hampshire.
Palatine senior Tommy Swanson scored 11 points and 6-7 senior Julian Campbell scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.