Prospect's Terpins nails winning 3-pointer to sink Palatine
Prospect's Drew Terpins heeded Knights coach Brad Rathe's advice.
"I knew my teammates trusted me and I had to take that final shot," Terpins said. "My coach told me this morning that he was ready for me. He had a lot of faith in me."
So when Terpins found himself open just outside the arc with 24 seconds left to play and his team down by a point, he fired the ball up. It spun for a brief moment and then dropped down the hole to give Prospect the lead for good.
The Knights then counted on solid defense and key free throws to knock off Palatine 47-44 Friday in the Class 4A regional final at Palatine.
"Drew Terpins stepping in and hitting that three, that was gigantic." Rathe said. "From a kid who has had a different role this season and has started the last couple of games. He steps in there shoots that with all the confidence in the world."
Rathe said he wanted Terpins to shoot.
"I told him that if he gets open looks and you don't shoot it, I am going to come out there and kick him on the backside," Rathe said.
Prospect (19-11) advances to play Stevenson at the sectional semifinals at Barrington at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Stevenson (22-7) beat Hersey 50-36.
Rathe savored his first regional title as a head coach.
"It is so hard, so hard to win in this area," Rathe said. "We had a great season and I knew we could win this game. It is so hard. They are so good. I am proud of this group. That was a fun effort."
The Knights looked like they would give Rathe the win much earlier. Prospect converted six of their first seven shots including going 3-for-3 outside the arc as they built an 18-4 lead after one quarter.
"We have been shooting a ton in practice," said Brad Schneider, who along with Terpins and Alex Georgakas, drilled a three-pointer during that stretch.
"We knew we had to come in and shoot confidently to get the win."
Palatine (25-7) then showed why they were MSL champions and set a school record for wins.
The Pirates began to pressure Prospect and chipped away slowly at the lead. Palatine forced nine turnovers over the next two quarters and cut the Knights' lead to 33-31 after three quarters on a three-point play by Connor May.
Prospect was able to make it 38-33 on a three-pointer by Schneider with 5:55 left. Palatine then rallied to pull ahead 39-38 as Tyler Swierczek scored six consecutive points.
Palatine had its final lead at 42-41 with 1:28 left on a pair of free throws by Swierczek. Prospect then held the ball, calling timeout once, until Terpins' three made it 44-42 with 23.3 seconds left.
Palatine had a chance to tie, but the Pirates got caught under the basket and turned the ball over. Georgakas followed with a free throw with 9.9 seconds left to make it 45-42.
After the second free throw was missed, Palatine rebounded and came down and attempted a long three-pointer that missed. Terpins rebounded, was fouled and hit both free throws with 1.4 seconds left to put the game away.
"We left it on the floor and you have to do that at state tournament time," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "We didn't have to play differently because that is the way we played all year. They hit their shots. I don't think we lost that game, we just got beat by a real good team."
Prospect, which was 8-of-13 from outside the arc, was led by Schneider, who had 13 points. Georgakas had 12 points, Terpins 10 points and Nolan Murray six points.
Swierczek led Palatine with 22 points while May had 13 points.
Class 3A Deerfield sectional:
St. Viator 62, Deerfield 58: St. Viator cinch Michael O'Keeffe won his first regional title as the Lions (15-18) upended host and third-seeded Deerfield (22-7).
Mitch Humphrey and Henry Marshall each scored 15 points to lead St. Viator, while Dayvion Ellis had 12 points. The Lions will meet second-seeded Grayslake Central (27-5) in Wednesday's sectional game at Grayslake Central.