Seiffert, Storm star in Palatine win over Conant
Palatine's Luke Seiffert and Brandon Storm stepped up in a huge way Saturday in Hoffman Estates.
With 6-foot-7 Julian Campbell, the second leading scorer in school history, sidelined with a foot injury, Seiffert and Storm came up big, combining for 39 points as Palatine knocked off Conant 66-58.
" Our guard play was good and we have two seniors," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "That's one of the reasons. Brandon Storm came out and played a complete game and Luke (Seiffert) is Luke. What you see of Luke is what we see every day in practice."
The Palatine guard duo did a lot of damage in the first half, combining for 23 of Palatine's 33 points.
"Brandon got some good role minutes last season, and I knew he would step it up this season, " said Seiffert, who was an all-area selection last season as a junior.
"We knew without the big fella, the little guys would have to step up."
Storm hit a last-second 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter to put the Pirates up 20-11. Conant came back behind the play of Devon Ellis (21 points, 7 rebounds) and pulled even at 21 on a three by Colin Francia (10 points).
Seiffert (20 points) and Storm (19 points) picked things up again for Palatine. Leading 24-23, the pair accounted for the final 9 points of the quarter for the Pirates, who took a 33-25 lead into halftime.
"It was preparation these past couple of weeks," Storm said. "We didn't know if we were going to play, but we worked like we thought we were. We ran our offense and took what they gave us."
After Palatine pulled ahead 40-30 halfway through the third quarter, Conant began to chip away at the lead. The Cougars rallied to tie the game on three different occasions, the final time at 54-all with 4:13 to play.
Palatine also was aided by key plays from Eric Pecson and Tyler Swierczak. Pecson scored all of his 5 points down the stretch, while Swierczak scored 7 of his 10 points in the final quarter as the Pirates ripped off 7 consecutive points to put the game away.
"It felt like there were little plays here," Conant coach Jim Maley said. "There was an offensive rebound or untimely turnover that killed us. We were about to get over the hump and we just couldn't make it over that hump."
Millstone was simply happy to have his kids playing.
"Win, lose or draw, we are playing basketball on a Saturday night in February, "he said. "If you would have said that two weeks ago, I would have looked at you like you had horns coming out of your head."