Hoffman Estates shoots down Palatine
Hoffman Estates was coming off a big 40-30 Mid-Suburban League West victory over Barrington on Wednesday night.
And the Hawks stayed hot on Friday.
Senior Destinee Young scored 15 points and senior Becca Stoczynski had 14 in leading host Hoffman Estates (8-2, 3-1) to an impressive 47-39 MSL West victory over Palatine.
"We knocked off two nice teams with winning records, and we did it convincingly," said Hoffman coach Mike Nocella of the Hawks' back-to-back double-digit victories. "Our kids were hitting tonight, and when that happens we're tough to beat."
Hoffman used a quick start in jumping out to a 7-2 advantage in the opening quarter, with Stoczynski scoring 6 first-quarter points leading the Hawks to a 13-9 lead entering the second quarter.
Hoffman kept up the pressure in the second quarter, extending its lead to 12 points.
"We wanted to go down low," said Young. "We did a good job of moving the ball offensively, and the guards were getting us the ball."
And when the Pirates started to double team down low, the Hawks were able to kick it out the guards. Sophomore Mary Saitta hit a key 3-pointer in the second quarter as the Hawks took a 26-16 halftime lead.
"In the MSL West we know how tough every game is and we didn't come out ready to play," said Palatine coach Leslie Schock. "Hoffman came out strong, with a sense of purpose."
Palatine (11-3, 3-2) responded early in the third quarter with senior Nia Pappas (game-high 20 points) hitting one of her six 3-pointers and sophomore Monica Macini (10 points) scoring off a putback to narrow the deficit to 28-23.
But Hoffman answered, ending the third quarter with a 9-3 run in taking a 37-26 lead entering the final quarter.
"Coach (Nocella) told us to keep working hard," said senior Shante Hill, who scored 5 of her 7 points in the second half. "We're learning how to work together, and the confidence we gained in the Barrington game pushed us today."
But Pappas kept the Pirates close by nailing three 3s in the final quarter, including her final one with 3:07 remaining to narrow the deficit to 42-37.
"I made the first couple and I just felt in the flow," said the Pirates senior.
But Hoffman converted 5 of 6 free throws in the closing minutes to secure the victory.
"If we play like we are now we should be in the thick of things," said Nocella of the MSL West race. "We've proven we can play with anybody. We'll see what happens."
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