Town Rivals go head-to-head in a tough game of basketball

Sam Millstone #5 and Tyler Sweirczek #30 are two of the youngest players on the Palatine High School varsity team. “This season has been such a great opportunity to add a year of varsity basketball under my belt,” Millstone said.

Monika Jurevicius, Sports Editor

On Feb. 26, town rivals, the Palatine High School Pirates and Fremd High School Vikings, met to play an exciting game that kept the crowd on their feet and roaring at exceptional plays.

“It’s fun to be apart of such a big rivalry with such great history behind it,” PHS boys varsity basketball player, Sam Millstone #5 said. 

PHS struggled at the beginning to keep up with FHS. Difficulties arose with shooting the ball into the basket and with defense against the Vikings. The first quarter ends with a score of 7-16.

“There were times where we forgot to do the little things and they [the Vikings] were able to capitalize on it,” PHS forward Tyler Swierczek #30 said.

In the second quarter, PHS senior Julian Campbell #50 came in with impressive defense, towering over FHS players to stop them from scoring. The team played effectively, particularly in the passing game. By halftime, the score was 16-27. 

“With this year being such an unprecedented season, we’ve been doing a great job of focusing on the task at hand, and quickly transferring our focus to the next game with such a jam packed schedule,” Millstone said.

The last two remaining quarters really helped bring the Pirates back up. In both quarters, there were impressive plays from the Pirates players like Brandon Storm #3, Millstone #5, Eric Pecson #12, Seiffert #10, and Swierczek #30. The Pirates may have had a chance to win, but many fouls were caused towards the end. The final score was 49-55 for a Viking win. 

“We worked extremely hard and battled from start to finish, but just couldn’t come up with stops and buckets at the end of the game,” Millstone said.

With the season closing in on the team, players have had time to reflect on their experience from this dynamic season. 

“I think one memory that stood out to me was our home game against Conant [High School],” Swierczek said. “In the second half we were able to make a comeback and go on thanks to teammates and the crowd.”

All teams in Illinois have been lucky to have each player receive two tickets for parents, while PHS principal Tony Medina raffles off tickets for students. Friday allowed PHS Varsity Club to enjoy the game, with the theme “White out.” There was also a number of PHS staff that came to cheer on the team.

“Despite this year being far from normal, we’ve had such an awesome support system with our student section and fans showing out to every home game,” Millstone said.

The Pirates go up against the Barrington High School Broncos this Tuesday, March 2, at 7:30 PM at PHS or on the “PHS Video Archive” Youtube channel. 

“This year has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to finish it out strong and have a very fun and competitive two years with the guys I love being with,” Millstone said.