The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


Patriots Win the Plaque

The Patriots basketball team fights to win a second consecutive Regional Championship against the Prospect Knights.
Ansh Aggarwal
The Patriots basketball team hoists the Regional Championship plaque high after the victory. This is the second consecutive season the Patriots have won the Regional Championship.

The Patriots clinched the Regional Championship against the Prospect Knights in their own gym on Friday, Feb. 23, keeping their season alive and moving on to the sectional semi-finals. After an intense back-and-forth matchup, the Patriots came out on top, 43-40.

Stevenson’s Rocco Pagliocca ’26 had an outstanding performance finishing with 14 points, with nine points coming in the first half. Atticus Richmond ’25 showcased stellar defensive play in the second half and added some very well-earned buckets himself, helping lead the way for the Patriots.

The Patriots started the game off strong with Armand Burris ’24 scoring four points within the first two minutes. However this momentum was stopped as Prospect’s Drew Terpins scored a step-back 3-pointer to put the Knights up 9-6 with just under five minutes in the first half. After a timeout called by the Patriots, they didn’t back down, scoring 10 unanswered points, finishing the quarter with a 16-11 lead.

“We realized that we can’t get off to a bad start, we have to throw the first punch,” Pagliocca said. “We fought, and I think that’s what led us to the win tonight.”

Leading into the second quarter, the Knights were not giving up. Terpins went on an offensive rampage scoring seven consecutive points, helping the Knights to a 18-16 lead with just under two minutes left in the half. The Patriots weren’t done until the buzzer, though, as with just 1.4 seconds left on the clock, Pagliocca grabbed the offensive rebound and put it up to finish the half, giving Stevenson a 21-20 lead.

“Second chance plays like that, free throws, rebounds, putbacks–they’re big plays that added up, not just from me, but from all of us as a team,” Pagliocca said.

Rocco Pagliocca `26 plots what to do during an offensive possession. Pagliocca had a great game for the Patriots, scoring 14 points, leading the team in scoring. (Ansh Aggarwal)

After a back-and-forth third quarter, the Patriots held onto their offensive edge, leading 34-33. Last year, in the sectional semi-finals, The Patriots lost to the Knights on a game-winning buzzer beater. That game raced through the heads of the players, motivating them into the fourth quarter to avoid a repeat of the past.

With just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Prospect’s Aiden Walter hit a game tying 3-pointer to knot the score at 36-36. After a final layup from Stevenson forward Kelvin Clement ’24, the never-say-die Patriots never let go of the lead, finishing the chase for the championship plaque.

“The name of this tournament is to survive and advance, and we did,” head coach William Benson said.

The Patriots will move onto the sectional semifinals game on Tuesday, Feb. 27 against Barrington. Despite the pressure of the playoffs, the Patriots are staying composed to keep their season alive.

“No pressure, really,” Benson said. “We’re just going to come and try to play our best game, like I thought we did tonight, [and] we have to do the same thing Tuesday.”

Students from Stevenson High School traveled down to Prospect High School to support the team in this big win. Both student sections put immense pressure on the players, leading to the high intensity. (Ansh Aggarwal)
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