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Karim Melek
Karim Melek
News Editor

Karim is a sophomore at Palatine High School and along with being the News editor at Cutlass, Melek is involved in many activities such as Water Polo, Debate, and Model UN. Melek enjoys traveling and was...

PHS varsity basketball defends the MSL West once again

The+basketball+team+celebrates+their+victory+as+they+receive+the+MSL+West+trophy.
Holly Steffus
The basketball team celebrates their victory as they receive the MSL West trophy.

After a drought since 1993, the boys basketball team at Palatine has captured the MSL outright in back to back years as they were able to hold off Rolling Meadows once again. 

They were able to host the Rolling Meadows at home unlike the previous year, and faced no easy task. The Mustangs were coming off their fourth consecutive MSL East title, after going 39-1 out East in the past four years. 

The Mustangs are led by MSL East player of the year, Ian Miletic, a junior who averages 20 points per game, as well as 9 rebounds per game. Miletic has official offers from #4 Marquette and #14 Illinois. 

The tip-off was completed and action was underway. The scoring went back and forth before the Mustangs started to heat up from beyond the arc. Rolling Meadows led after the 1st quarter 18-13 thanks to huge scoring starts from juniors Lazar Lazarevic and Jack Duffer. 

The second was a similar quarter. The Mustangs would continue their hot streak from the three point line but Palatine started to find offense on all areas of the floor. A buzzer-beating fadeaway from MSL West player of the year Connor May helped cut the deficit Palatine faced to two, and brought May to double digit points in the first half alone. The score still favored the Mustangs, 26-24.

Palatine would need a spark, as their most recent lead was when they had the 4-2 start. Things had to change, and fast. 

“I think we knew they were hitting a lot of shots in the first half and we knew they weren’t going to stay that hot,” said junior guard Carter Monroe. “We just kept doing our thing.”

Carter Monroe going past Rolling Meadows’s defense (Siomara Valdez)

They did more than just that. 

In the Mustangs’ first five possessions, they had the ball stolen from them three times and were blocked twice. This would accelerate a Pirates 15-2 scoring run that would last a majority of the third quarter before Miletic finally drew a foul from beyond the arc and would sink all three free throws. The experience and stamina on the Pirates started to shine.

“Experience is everything,” said senior forward May. “All of our guys played with great poise and composure.” 

The Mustangs would never be able to recover, and could only bring the game within six points at their best effort. 

Time would expire and Palatine was crowned once again, as everyone got a chance to cut down the nets again; but this time on home court in front of their friends and families. 

“This was one of my favorite games to play in,” said May. “The atmosphere was one of the most energetic of the year and the passion and fight from our team made the win feel so much more rewarding.” 

The Pirates now set their eyes forward to the state playoffs, where they’ll begin their journey with the #2 seed in the Elgin sectional. They will play the winner of #16 Larkin or #18 Streamwood on Feb. 21.

Parents, the team, and student section brought an enthusiastic environment as they supported the members on the court. (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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