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Chris Lagunes is a sophomore at PHS and has been interested in the Cutlass since he first read the articles the Cutlass has to offer. He speaks English and Spanish, and has many interests outside of the...

Varsity basketball’s senior night brings an emotion filled atmosphere to the court

Holly Steffus
During the banquet, the seniors were surprised with gifts and flowers.

Emotions unraveled whether you were a fan or player, as the Pirates girls basketball team honored three core seniors of their community on a Tuesday night crossover with the Elk Grove Grenadiers. 

The 7-21 Grenadiers made the short trip up to Palatine for the second time this season, as they met 70 days prior and the Pirates were victors 51-21.

But this was not just a normal game.

Frankie Henderson was the only active player supposed to participate in the senior night affairs, due to Lexi Sabado and Lindsay Plourde having ACL tears. But, as the teams were about to have their starting lineups announced, Sabado and Plourde both were in full uniform. 

The plan was for Palatine to win the tip-off, and the senior connection of Henderson to Plourde to Sabado laying it up for the opening points. It was executed to perfection. 

“I was pumped,” Sabado said when asked if she was nervous about taking the opening shot. “I was ready to go.”

From there, it was go time. The Grenadiers would make a majority of the first quarter nerve wracking for Palatine with their defense and ability to draw fouls. They led 4-3 at one point, but Onyekonu’s bucket in the paint shortly after would end the last lead the Grenadiers owned for the remainder of the game.

The team high-fives Frankie Henderson as she exits the court. (Holly Steffus)

The offense finished with their third best effort of the season, with 58 points in an eventual 58-28 route for Palatine. Senior guard Maggie Maher played well for Elk Grove with 9 points, but was outshined on the other side of the matchup by Henderson. She ended the game with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists for arguably the most impressive individual performance they have seen this season.  

“I’ve been really trying to hold up that ‘best shooter mentality’ that my coaches enforce,” Henderson said. “Even if I was missing a ton in the first quarter I’ve got three more quarters to prove myself.” 

Even on the outside of her individual performance, this is one that Henderson will have a core memory of. 

“There are definitely a lot of good games, but right now what comes to mind is this game,” Henderson said when asked about her favorite game this season. “The chemistry, the fun, everything.”

The Pirates have one more game on Feb 12 at home against Hampshire, before most likely heading off to start their playoff games in Gurnee. The end is getting closer for the three seniors, and it is something that they all agreed they’ll miss greatly. 

“I will miss the game, but also the people.” Plourde said. “All my teammates and my coaches.”

Boys Basketball Senior Night Recap

The boys basketball team at Palatine has now gone two straight seasons with 20+ wins thanks to a runaway victory snatched on Saturday for the Pirates’ Senior Night. 

Five seniors were honored on the home court they’ve played on for the last four years. Connor May, Gibson Lindell, Ian Dow, Jordan Mok and Tommy Elter were the ones in a bigger spotlight than the rest. So of course, those five were assigned to the court to start the game before anyone else by Head Coach Eric Millstone.

Play just began and a minute in, Connor May broke open the scoring by darting a three as well as drawing contact for the and-1. That was all the Pirates needed for an opening statement.

Both sides would exchange points back and forth, but then the Giants started to pick up pace early. Highland Park junior Simon Moschin’s risk was rewarded with an incredibly deep three-pointer to knot up the game at 14-14 and also extended the Giants scoring run to 7-0. 

All of a sudden, Palatine improved the defense and rebounding in an instant. The final 7 minutes of the second quarter were Palatine’s property. They finished out the quarter with a 17-6 run and walked into the locker room with a confident 31-20 lead.

Connor May scored a total of 15 points against the Giants. (Siomara Valdez)

“After a slow start the best thing for the guys on the court is the energy that the guys off the court produce,” said senior forward Elter. “It helps get us going and makes a huge difference.”

The second half was no different from the second quarter, as the Pirates grabbed another 14 points in the third and held strong defensively in the fourth for the Senior Night victory. 

The 49-31 final propelled Palatine to their third straight win against Highland Park, and they have not lost to the Giants since February of 2020, where a triple overtime thriller was won by them. 

Of course this was more than a game for the seniors, for a childhood group of friends were starting to realize the end of the road was near. 

“The four of us: me, Tommy, Connor and Gib (Gibson) all have been playing since fourth grade together,” said senior guard Mok. “So just playing one last game on our home court was really a special moment for all of us.”

This senior bond as well as the rest of the team will rematch Rolling Meadows to potentially be back to back MSL Champions, where the Pirates escaped a close one by a score of 54-52 over the Mustangs on the road to win their first championship since 1993. 

Elter and the rest of the team knows what needs to be consistent as they head into the homestretch. 

“Obviously shooting the ball well and playing sound defense is huge,” Elter said. “But, energy and staying together is something we always go back to.

Jordan Mok making a shot against Highland Park’s defense. (Siomara Valdez)
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About the Contributors
Luke Jorden
Luke Jorden, Reporter
Luke Jorden is a senior at Palatine High School. He is a play by play sports broadcaster in the broadcasting club here at PHS. Jorden also has jobs with two other sports franchises and a high school hockey network. He is very passionate about anything sports, whether watching or playing, as he enters his final year on the District hockey team and the lacrosse team here. Being a journalist is something Jorden enjoys because he can tell stories on paper in a way he can’t on video. He aspires to be a play by play announcer for a major team or network one day.
Siomara Valdez
Siomara Valdez, Sports & Photography Editor

Siomara Valdez is a senior at Palatine High School. Valdez is very passionate about photography as it is a hobby of theirs. Valdez went out of their comfort zone to take on new opportunities in photography becoming the color guard photographer for the season. Valdez is a big fan of the band Foo Fighters and wants to one day photograph at one of their concerts. They got recruited into Cutlass at Chipotle and went to the meetings in hopes to improve their photography. After high school, Valdez wants to pursue mass communications as their career and continue photojournalism at Winona State University.

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