Saxons' Patterson able to get the MSL title his dad never captured
It is a thrill for every father to watch his son to exceed dad's accomplishments.
As a sophomore, Schaumburg's Vaurice Patterson Jr. can cross one off his list.
Young Vaurice helped lead his Schaumburg boys basketball team to the Mid-Suburban League title Wednesday with a 49-43 win over Buffalo Grove. It was an MSL title that his father, Vaurice Patterson Sr., never was able to do when the elder Patterson starred at Conant in the late 1980s and early 90s.
"I am so proud of the way he played tonight," Vaurice Patterson Sr. said. "He played under control the whole way through."
Vaurice Patterson Jr., who plays point guard for the Saxons, helped dictate the tempo in the title game. His ability to quarterback the Saxon offense and keep the ball away from the highflying Bison, was a key to Schaumburg's win.
"I thought we really did a nice job of controlling the pace of the game," Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler said. "Vaurice is a phenomenal player, whose poise never gets rattled. He took a deep breath and I think he led us when we needed it."
Patterson Jr., who, also was named all-conference on Wednesday, is more of a playmaker and had 2 assists and a steal.
"When they are around me, I am looking to control the play," Patterson Jr. said. "I need to keep things cool. The environment was crazy out there. Coach looks to me to control things out there."
Patterson Jr. missed some shots and was scoreless until the final 72 seconds of the game, when he helped the Saxons pull away.
He picked up a loose ball on the far side of the court and then took it the distance with a driving layup to increase the Saxons' lead to 46-43. He would later can a pair of free throws with 6.1 seconds remaining to ice the game.
Patterson Sr. was a star football and basketball player for Conant. He helped lead Conant to a pair of regional basketball titles and a sectional title. But a chance to play in the MSL title game escaped him in his three years as a varsity starter under former Cougars coach Tom McCormack.
"We played in the old MSL East," said Patterson Sr., who would later play both football and basketball at Northern Illinois.
"But we never won. We ran into some great players in Todd Leslie and Mike Lapinski and a great Prospect team. We won a lot of games, but never got to play for an MSL championship game."
Patterson Sr. is now a behavior intervention specialist at an alternative school. He, along with his wife, Vertressa, took their usual seats in the corner near the door Wednesday night. There they could watch Vaurice Jr. and their daughter Deja, who is a cheerleader at Schaumburg.
"For me, it feels good to tell my son that you have accomplished more than me in your first two years of high school than I ever accomplished, " Patterson Sr. said. "So keep it up."
Patterson Jr. always remembers the lessons that his dad has taught him on the court and at home.
"He taught me always to stay composed under pressure," Patterson Jr. said. "I always learn from him. He always wants to do things, so we work out together. It is really thanks to him."
But just like any son who has topped their father, Patterson Jr. will hold that MSL title over his father.
"I guess it is me right now," Patterson Jr. said.