Palatine hangs on to down Prospect
Palatine center Julian Campbell played big-boy basketball, Tommy Swanson brought the hard-hat and lunch bucket and Luke Seiffert played with determination. Put those three together, and the Pirates came away with a tight 53-50 Mid-Suburban League crossover win over host Prospect Tuesday night.
Palatine improved to 9-6 and has won 5 of its last 6. The Knights fell to 6-8 but have played gallantly.
Campbell played with consistency, scoring 12 points in each half to go with 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Swanson had his best all-around game this season with 16 points. Seiffert had a key basket in the fourth quarter which was followed by two free throws with 21 seconds left to seal the deal.
"We're winning close games," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "Our guys are putting themselves in this type of experience. We hope this will pay off for us in the long run."
Campbell's teammates found the big center inside as he scored 10 points in the first quarter. That scoring plus 5 points from Swanson gave the Pirates a 15-10 lead to end the first quarter.
The Knights trimmed the Pirate lead to 17-15 on Colin Carroll putback basket with 4:08 left in the first half. However the Pirates finished the quarter with a rush, using a 10-0 run to lead 27-15 at the break.
A basket by Shailan Rajpurkar, 3-pointers by Swanson and Seiffert and a Campbell basket finished the run.
Prospect shot a poor 19% from the field in the first half. Palatine connected on 11 of 20.
"Going into the second half we knew that Prospect was not just going to roll over," said Swanson. "We knew that they would come out shooting the ball because they didn't hit in the first half."
Prospect hit on 6 of 9 3-pointers in the quarter to cut the lead to 42-35 at the end of the third quarter. Marco Shaw scored all of his 9 points in the quarter. Chase Larsen scored 5 of his 11 points.
Palatine switched to a 2-3 zone in order to halt the Knights' momentum.
"We had to do something," said Millstone. "They were raining in the 3s from everywhere. We tried to shake things up a little."
"That was a great job by Millstone changing their defense to a 2-3," said Prospect coach John Camardella. "That zone stuffed us in the fourth quarter."
Not entirely. The Knights lost some rhythm but continued to stay close. With 5:41 remaining Campbell hit 2 free throws for a 45-37 lead before 3-pointers by Chase Larsen (11 points) and McAleer (12 points) cut the lead to 45-43.
Swanson's final free throw with eight seconds left gave Palatine a 53-50 lead.
Prospect set up a 3-point attempt but an errant pass went out of bounds giving Palatine the ball.
"We're learning some hard lessons," said Camardella. "Palatine was very efficient."
"It's huge to see that we can play with a lead," said Swanson. "We seem to play more comfortable that way."
"This was probably Tommy's best game," said Millstone. "He scored 2s, 3s and from the free-throw line. We're going to need that from him in the second half. Julian's a skilled player. But, he's only as good as the other guys' ability to get him the ball."