Palatine uses tough defense to put away Schaumburg
The success of Palatine's boys basketball this season will be a result of its defense.
The host Pirates' defense stood out in a 30-20 Mid-Suburban League West win over Schaumburg Friday night.
"We went to a 1-2-2 ball press defense this year and so far it's worked pretty well," said Palatine guard Sam Millstone. "We really worked hard this week on defense and that was our focus. The coaches preached toughness. To beat a team like Schaumburg you have to play tough."
Schaumburg, at times, was its own worst enemy by committing 21 turnovers and hitting on only 9 of 36 shots. While the 4-2 Saxons dominated the game in rebounding by a 30-20 count, Schaumburg could only pull down 3 rebounds in a fourth quarter that saw the Saxons go scoreless.
"We didn't do a very good job attacking their zone," said Schaumburg coach Wade Heisler. "You're not going to win many games with that many turnovers. We have to learn to push the ball better when we get rebounds. Once we get some better floor experience, we will be able to run the ball better."
Palatine (3-2, 1-0) only trailed 5-3 with 5:50 left in the first quarter. Junior Tyler Swierczek tied the game at 5-5 on an assist from Millstone.
Grant Dersnah sank 2 free throws, Swierczek had a putback basket, and Connor May hit 2 free throws as a result of a Millstone steal for an 11-5 lead.
Swierczek scored all 9 of his points in the first quarter. He also pulled down 8 rebounds of which 4 came in the fourth quarter along with a blocked shot.
"It was good to get off to the good start," said Swierczek. "I think that run got the team going. It was a big win for us to start off the conference race. We had to be tough on defense against Schaumburg. They played us well. They are a good defensive team."
Palatine led 24-20 going into the fourth quarter.
"I told the kids at the start of the fourth quarter that someone had to win this game and why not us," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "We did what we had to do. It was a typical Mid-Suburban West game. Hard play and defense."
May, who scored 7 points and had 7 rebounds, drove through the lane for a layup for a 26-20 lead. Dersnah hit 2 more of his 7 free throws for a 28-20 lead.
D J. Dick scored the last of Palatine's points off a Saxon turnover.
Palatine played ball control for most of the remaining 5:44 to hold on for the win.