Palatine topples Fremd for season sweep
For the first time in at least 18 years, Palatine took the season series in boys basketball from Fremd Friday night.
The visiting Pirates used the hot shooting from "Cool Hand" Luke Seiffert in the first half and Julian "Ju Ju" Campbell's strong second half play.
Seiffert scored 13 of his team-high 17 points, which included three 3-pointers, in the first half as the Pirates opened a 17-11 lead.
Campbell scored all 10 of his points in the second half to help secure the win.
When all was said and done Palatine came away with a 41-35 Mid-Suburban West win. The Pirates are now 12-9 and tied atop the division with Schaumburg.
"In the summer we set a goal to win the Mid-Suburban West," said Seiffert. "We're doing a lot of things Palatine basketball hasn't done for awhile. Tonight I embraced the atmosphere. We knew that we would have to get off to a good start. Coach (Eric) Millstone stressed that in practice."
Tied at 9-9 with 1:02 left in the first quarter after Jake Schoffstall's 2 free throws, Seiffert scored on a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left for a 12-9 lead.
Schoffstall scored Fremd's (11-9, 4-2) only basket with 5:22 left in the first half to cut the lead to 12-11.
Seiffert scored all 5 Pirate points in the quarter and Palatine led 17-11 at the break.
"We got stuck on some numbers," said Fremd coach Bob Widlowski. "The number 7 and then 11. We didn't shoot well in the first half. We went 4 of 22. We didn't play particularly well at that point. Give Palatine credit. They came out and played well tonight. We tried to chip away but they always seemed to come up with a big basket."
Palatine used a 13-6 third quarter to lead 30-17 going to the fourth.
Campbell began to assert himself inside scoring 5 points, while Seiffert, Connor Aikman, and Tommy Swanson all connected on 3-pointers.
Fremd being Fremd, made its move in the fourth quarter to draw within 7 points twice.
Ross Beaupre (9 points, 5 rebounds) started an 8-0 run with a basket that was followed by two 3-pointers by Schoffstall. That cut the lead to 32-25 with 4:20 remaining and again at 37-30.
Two free throws by Seiffert gave Palatine a 39-30 lead with 53 seconds left. Schoffstall (15 points) hit for another 3-pointer before Seiffert threw a long pass to Campbell who scored underneath for a 41-33 lead with 28 seconds.
"It was a typical Fremd-Palatine game," said Millstone. "A lot of players spent time on the floor. We were strong with the ball and I was proud of our defense. When they made their run, in the time out, I told the players to just relax.
"Luke got us off to a good start and we had some good stops. We fed off of that. Julian showed patience. He found good spots to score for us in the second half."
"When they made the runs," said Seiffert, "we just had to stay aggressive. We saw they were concentrating on Julian and that left us open to shoot from the outside. We have a lot of respect for Fremd and their program. We knew this wouldn't be easy."