MSL West leader Palatine gets past Schaumburg
The sound of the referee's whistle was scarcely heard Thursday night in the Schaumburg gym, especially in the first half when only 2 personal fouls were called.
The Saxons shot exactly 1 free throw the entire contest against visiting Palatine, while the Pirates were just 4-of-4 from the line through 31-plus minutes.
Then Palatine junior guard Sam Millstone doubled that total in the final 30 seconds, and it led to a Pirates' boys basketball victory.
Millstone sank 4 clutch free throws down the stretch as the Pirates held off a determined Saxons team 50-44 in the Mid-Suburban West.
Outstanding trapping defense by Schaumburg got it back in the game in the third quarter, and junior guard Joshua Carter scored 15 points on 5 3-pointers, but the home team fell just short.
Palatine improved to 15-7 and 5-1 in the West.
"Actually, we've had trouble putting it together for long stretches recently," said Palatine coach Eric Millstone, "but we played well tonight, especially in the second half."
Senior forward Nicholas Doroskin, who played a strong game with 10 points and 10 rebounds, shot the Saxons into the lead early on.
Doroskin scored the first 8 points of the game in the paint for Schaumburg, and Carter hit a half-court 3-pointer at the first period buzzer as the Saxons took a 16-12 advantage.
Carter's hot shooting continued in the second period, but Grant Dernash of Palatine scored 6 points in the quarter as the Pirates took a slim 27-26 lead into intermission.
"Schaumburg is a very good basketball team," said Eric Millstone. "They're a lot better than their current record shows."
The Saxons' energy carried over into the third quarter as they overcame a deficit to take the lead late in the stanza with a 9-0 run -- but a steal and layup from Dernash brought Palatine to a 38-38 tie after three.
Then the pace of the game, which had been frenetic most of the way, slowed down in the fourth quarter.
Palatine scored the first 6 points of the period and maintained the lead most of the way, but a layup from Schaumburg guard DJ Wilson brought the Saxons to within 46-44 with just 42 seconds remaining.
Then Sam Millstone was fouled with under 30 seconds remaining, and the junior calmly hit 2 free throws to put his team up by 4.
Schaumburg fought for a bucket as the final ticks of the clock wound down but couldn't convert, and after a steal by junior Tyler Swierczek, Sam Millstone was fouled and sank 2 more foul shots to put the game away.
Dernash finished with a game-high 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 steals for Palatine. Teammate Swierczek scored 16, while Sam Millstone had 10.
"We took care of the basketball tonight," said Eric Millstone, "and we knocked down our free throws when we needed to. That's a winning recipe."