Knights band together in miracle season to win regional against Pirates


The team poses with their hard-earned plaque after the game. (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

PJ O'Grady

The Prospect Knights (19-11) won a narrow 47-42 contest against the Palatine Pirates (25-7) in what can be considered as a war between the two teams. The game was explosive, and extremely fast paced considering it lasted about only 1 hour and 15 mins and it handed them their first regional championship since 2020.

The most significant moment of the game came from junior Drew Terpins when he drilled a wide open three with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Terpins made a couple turnovers late in the fourth quarter, however, he didn’t let it phase him when opportunity knocked.

“I was a little beat up because I had two crucial turnovers, but after that timeout was called Alex [Georgakas], and Ben [Schneider], Cole [Chapman] and Charlie [Gilmer] all talked to me,” Terpins said. “They told me to have confidence in myself, so coming out having the wide open shot I just felt it and it went in.”

Afterward, the Prospect student section thundered with life as cheers could be heard across the gymnasium. Terpins recalled the lively atmosphere of the game and described how crowded both student sections were at the game when he saw the stands were packed from the top to the bottom.

“It was super loud,” Terpins said. “… the student section was crazy [and] it was awesome.”

At the beginning of the game, however, it seemed the Knights’ had a chance to take down the Pirates’ in an easy fashion. Prospect were electric from downtown as they were 3/3 from beyond the arc in the first quarter and they eventually ended the quarter with a comfortable 18-4 lead.

On the other hand, Palatine wasn’t going to watch themselves collapse to the Knights’ as they chipped away with a couple buckets from senior Tyler Swierczek. After a nice jump shot in the paint from sophomore Ben Schneider, the Knights’ ended the half with a 24-16 lead.

Afterwards an easy layup and then a saucy spinning fadeaway from senior Sam Millstone brought the Pirates back in the game with only a difference of a 24-20 lead by the Knights’.

A series of great playmaking from both teams created an offensive spark in the final minutes of the third quarter. A pair of three balls from Schneider and Gilmore, then five straight points from Swierczek, then a three from Georgakas, a three from senior Sammy Millstone and a layup and one from Swierczek made the score a 33-31 Prospect lead.

The fourth quarter became a back and forth showdown as both teams turned up the heat in the last eight minutes of the game. With 3:22 left in the game Swierczek hit a layup to give the Pirates’ the first lead of the game at 40-39.

A euro step from Georgakas gave the Knights’ the lead once again. But Swierczek sank both free throws to take the lead once again. A minute later, Terpins, hit the above-mentioned three, which was the dagger that capped the win for the Knights’. 

Terpins ended up with 10 points, while Georgakas had 12 points, and Schneider had 13 points. For Palatine, Swierczek had 22 points as senior Connor May had 13 points.

While the Knights’ are happy with their regional win and miraculous season turnaround, they plan to keep focused against Stevenson on Wed. March 1.

“Well we beat Stevenson once already, so it’s gonna be hard to come back and beat a team again, especially in the playoffs,” Terpins said. “So, we’re gonna take steps towards that …we’ll just be prepping for Stevenson and they got a lot of guys that play [good] basketball, but we work harder and play harder than them.”