Schuamburg's tough defense denies Palatine win
While all eyes were on the giants but Schaumburg's defense helped the Saxons squeeze out a 49-40 Mid-Suburban West boys basketball win over host Palatine Friday night.
The win moved Schaumburg (15-3, 4-1) into a three-way tie for the MSL West lead with Palatine and Fremd, which beat Barrington in overtime.
Basketball purists came to watch the battle of the big men.
Schaumburg's 6-foot-7 Chris Hodges and Palatine's 6-7 Julian Campbell battled each other to a near standstill Friday night in Palatine. Hodges, a junior who is a Wisconsin commit, scored 20 points and had 6 rebounds. Campbell, who is also a junior and is receiving D-I looks, finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
"It was fun," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "Their kid (Campbell) is incredible and so is Chris. It is one of this things, if you are a fan, you got a show."
The duo, who play AAU ball together for the Illinois Wolves, guarded each other on both ends of the court.
"It was so much fun going against him," Campbell said. "It was a tough battle. For someone as big as me it wasn't easy."
Hodges loved playing against his summer teammate.
"It is always fun playing against top competition, " Hodges said. "It is always a battle between us. We will laugh about it later, but on the court it is serious."
It was serious business for both teams as Palatine (9-7, 4-1) got a 3-pointer from Campbell just before the end of the half to tie the game at 20-20.
Schaumburg took over after the break.
The Saxons got a pair of baskets by Hodges and a 3-pointer from Armen Torosian as they quickly spurted to a 27-20 advantage.
"I knew they were really good with 50 (Campbell) and 10 (Luke Seiffert)," Torosian said. "I just tried to help out when they had the ball. That helped us get off to a good start."
Schaumburg continued to splurge and opened up a 32-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Arnav Karnik.
Palatine tried to climb back into the game when the Pirates scored 6 unanswered points and closed to 32-27 on a putback by Campbell with 1:46 left in the third quarter. Schaumburg answered with 7 straight points with Karnik knocking down another 3 to put the game away with a 39-27 lead with 4:35 to play.
"Our defense is our staple," Heisler. "We hang our hats in that. We missed some shots, but you can always count on your defense."
Palatine coach Eric Millstone said the outside shooting was the difference,
"We thought going into the game it was going to be a very good big-on-big matchup," Millstone said. "It was worth the billing. The difference was that their perimeter guys were more effective than our perimeter guys."
Karnik had 12 points thanks to a trio of 3-pointers while Vaurice Patterson and Jared Schoo each had 5 points. Tommy Swanson added 10 points for Palatine while Seiffert had 7 points.