Craft, Buffalo Grove cruise past Palatine
Buffalo Grove's Kam Craft draws attention when he is on the basketball court. And rightfully so.
The Division-I prospect scored 29 points to help lead the Bison past Palatine 65-43 Saturday in a Mid-Suburban League crossover game in Buffalo Grove.
"In my first game as a freshman, they played me man-to-man," Craft said. "After that it is faceguarding or diamond-and-one or double me when I get the ball. I am used to it by now and I figured out how to be efficient."
The junior had the attention of his Buffalo Grove teammates in the first half when they fed the scoring machine as Craft accounted for 18 points. In the second half, with Palatine adding to its coverage to Craft, the court opened up for his teammates.
Steph Harris and Will Genthner used that extra space as Buffalo Grove (4-3) was able to pull away.
"We actually challenged Kam at halftime," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Petersen said, "He did a great job of responding. He brings two guys, three guys every time he touches the ball. In the second half, I thought his energy got us open shots."
Craft did his best to help his team pull away from a feisty Palatine team.
Craft poured in 18 points in the first half. But thanks to the play of Brandon Storm and Tyler Swierczak, the Pirates were able to pull even at 30-30 at the break.
Palatine (2-4) continued to battle as the Pirates pulled ahead 35-34 on a putback by Bobby Widlowski.
From there it was all Buffalo Grove.
Harris, who would finish with 14 points, began to penetrate while Genthner, who would finish with 10 points, was scoring inside.
"I felt real comfortable today," said Harris, who had a season high in points. "I was getting into it. Our offense was opening up a hole for me no it was wide open. When I got past that, it was hard for them to help out."
Buffalo Grove scored 9 unanswered points on its way to 17-3 run and then topped it off with an 8-2 spurt to pull away.
"I thought defensively we were exceptional in the second half," Peterson said. "Steph and Will Genthner did a good job of getting to the rim."
Palatine was led by sophomore Tyler Swierczak, who had 15 points, and Brandon Storm, who had 12 points.
"We got into a little bit of rhythm in the second quarter," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "It got us to a good point. They have weapons and they just had a good second half."