Stevenson hangs on to dump Palatine
The final outcome came down to the last shot of the game Saturday afternoon when streaking Stevenson faced host Palatine in a nonconference boys basketball game.
Trailing the entire contest, the Pirates had a chance to force overtime against Stevenson, but a 3-point attempt by Palatine's Brandon Storm was off the mark at the final buzzer as the Patriots held on for an exciting 42-39 victory.
Stevenson (11-3) now has a 6-game winning streak heading into the final week of the abbreviated 2021 season while the Pirates' record fell to 7-6 on the campaign.
A 3-pointer by Palatine's Luke Seiffert (game-high 15 points) off a turnover cut the Patriots' lead to 40-39 with 54 seconds to play.
The Pirates had the ball with a shot for a potential game-winning shot after Stevenson missed an easy inside shot with 35 seconds remaining.
But a crucial turnover with about 10 seconds left led to 2 free throws by Stevenson's Jacob Morris for a 42-39 edge with 3.2 seconds to go.
"We really executed our last play well, it just didn't go down," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone, whose team and the Pats both had 27 rebounds overall. "To be able to play a team like Stevenson and compete the way both teams did it was a great Saturday."
Stevenson junior Jaden Evans scored 8 of his team-high 13 points in the first half with 9 points from beyond the 3-point arch in the contest. Morris had 11 points and 6 rebounds while teammate Darius Clemons had 10 points and 6 rebounds.
"Defensively overall we were pretty good, that is kind of our calling card, and we kind of hang our hat on it," said interim Stevenson coach Chandler Simon, whose team led 23-12 midway through the second quarter. "He (Evans) gave us a big spark off the bench and knocked down some big shots."
After scoring 40 points in a 75-65 win at Hoffman Estates Friday night, 6-foot-7 Palatine senior Julian Campbell was held to 6 points and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
Sophomore Sam Millstone scored 9 points for the Pirates while Stevenson point guard Andrew Chieng scored 8 points.
"I think with the chemistry we have we played very hard, and we have a lot of energy coming from our bench," said Evans, whose jersey No. 13 matched his 13 points. "The difference was the patience in our offense and our defensive intensity."
The Patriots look like a completely different team than the one that was routed in a game at Mundelein three weeks ago.
"We figured out how to have some fun, and that has just been the big difference," added Simon. "(Campbell) just had 40 last night so we were concerned, but our bigs came through for us, and as a whole we came through as a team."