Palatine dumps Hampshire
Palatine shook off a poor first half to beat visiting Hampshire 49-32 Saturday afternoon in a nonconference boys basketball game.
"I think we were a little sluggish after last night's win against Schaumburg," said Pirates coach Eric Millstone. "But, I think Hampshire had something to do with that. Their guards made things difficult for us."
The game marked the return of to Palatine for Hampshire coach and former Pirate Mike Featherly, who played for then-coach Ed Molitor and graduated in 1998.
"I enjoyed my time here at Palatine and it was good coming back and seeing familiar faces," said Featherly. "I had been here a couple of times when I was coaching the (Hampshire) girls' teams. It was nice seeing old friends. It was a special time for me."
The Whip-Purs (2-5) stuck close to the 4-2 Pirates by connecting for 5 3-pointers in the first half. Sam Ptak had all 9 of his points in the first half for the Whips.
The Pirates were able to stay ahead thanks to solid efforts from sophomore Connor May and junior Grant Dersnah.
Palatine turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter by forcing 9 of Hampshire's 22 turnovers to take command of the game.
Palatine's Tyler Swieczek scored the first 5 points of the quarter to give the Pirates some breathing room.
"Those were big points by Tyler," said May, who scored 13 points and had 5 rebounds. "That helped turn things around for us. We just had a better attitude in the second half."
Dersnah followed with 2 free throws and a basket after Hampshire's Daniel Luckett (7 points) scored.
May contributed a basket and 2 free throws before Dersnah's basket on an assist from Tommy Elter gave Palatine a 35-19 lead with 1:27 left in the quarter.
"We had to get tougher on the glass, which we did in the third quarter," said Dersnah, who led the Pirates with 17 points. "That run was important. We would score and get a stop. We would get another score and then another stop. Right now our defense is really good and I think our offense will soon follow."
"We started pounding the ball inside more in the second half," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone. "Then we started extending our defense and that was it. We had a little size advantage and attacked the rim."
Nicholas Louis added 9 points for Hampshire.
"The turnovers in the third quarter really hurt us," said Featherly. "Their length got to us. They made a run in that third quarter and it's something we've been able to stop in previous games. We're still trying to figure out some things as we go. Palatine is a good team."
"Connor is very versatile for us," said Millstone. "We can score in a variety of ways. Grant had a good weekend. He's starting to assert himself more and was tough around the rim."
May had 2 of Palatine's 5 blocked shots. Guard Eric Millstone had 5 assists.