Campbell pours in 32 as Palatine downs Glenbrook North
When everything else is going south, Palatine's 6-foot-7, 300-pound Julian Campbell comes up big.
He did Saturday afternoon, pouring in 32 points in Palatine's hard-fought 52-39 win over a young, gritty Glenbrook North team in a nonconference boys basketball game.
While Glenbrook North was generating and hitting open-look 3-pointers, forcing turnovers out of Palatine and building as much as a 9-point lead early, Campbell was holding things together, taking lobs and converting them to hoops or grabbing his own rare misses and putting them back.
And then Palatine turned up the defense.
Glenbrook North had no third-quarter field goals and only 2 points in the period as Josh Rivera came off the bench and clamped down on Ben Foster, whose trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter were all open looks. Those became rare with Rivera haunting him.
That taken care of, Palatine got back to the business of feeding Campbell.
His two hoops inside in the third quarter opened things up outside for 3-pointers from Luke Seiffert (8 points) and Tommy Swanson (7). Palatine grabbed the lead at last and never it go, as Swanson and Seiffert hit 6 of 9 free throws between them in the fourth quarter and Campbell had 4 more field goals, a couple on nice feeds from Connor Aikman, the 3-point specialist doing his best Seiffert impersonation.
For Campbell, it's all a matter of appreciating the efforts of his teammates.
"They just know where to throw it where only I can get it," said Campbell, who plays with the shooting touch of NBA legend Willis Reed and the power of another, Moses Malone.
At 15-9 overall with some quality wins, and tied for first in the rugged Mid-Suburban West, Palatine might be feeling a little underappreciated, but not that much to the point of distraction.
"It makes us work a little harder," said Campbell, "a lot harder in conference."
"These are a group of even-tempered kids," said Pirates coach Eric Millstone, who says not being ranked is not an issue or an afterthought.
"They're well grounded."