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Boys basketball: Rolling Meadows survives Prospect for 2 game lead in MSL East

Rolling Meadows' Foster Ogbonna was not happy with his play, when his team faced off with Prospect earlier this season.

Ogbonna had a big smile Thursday after he scored a career-high 18 points. He also had a sense of relief as Prospect's Alex Georgakas' 3-point shot at the buzzer hit the front of the rim as Rolling Meadows survived for a 45-43 win in Mount Prospect.

"In our first meeting with Prospect, I didn't do so well, said Ogbonna, who knocked down six consecutive free throws in the final 1:12 of the game.

"I wanted to come to Prospect in my last time here and show people what I can do."

Rolling Meadows' Cameron Christie, who had a tough night from the field, said that the Mustangs needed that kind of play from Ogbonna.

"I think I made one field goal in the second half," said Christie, who finished with 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

"I knew someone was going to step up. And Foster did that for us."

Rolling Meadows' (20-2, 6-0) win gives the Mustangs a two-game lead in the MSL East over Prospect (11-9, 4-2).

"Every ounce of credit goes to Prospect," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "They gave us everything we could handle. Foster was huge. He is so underrated on our team and tonight that showed."

The first half featured slow, methodical play by both teams. After Prospect took an early lead, Rolling Meadows scored 9 unanswered points on a three by Ogbonna, a rare 4-point play by Cameron Christie and another basket by Ogbonna. That sparked the Mustangs to a 14-2 run to lead 14-5.

Despite trailing, Prospect continued to take its time on the offensive end.

The Mustangs weren't able to get out and run like they were used to, scoring just 2 points in the first four and half minutes of the second quarter. Both teams did find the range late in the period and Meadows led 22-14 at the half.

"We were a bit frustrated at times," Katovich said.

Despite trailing at the half, Prospect coach Brad Rathe said he liked what he saw from his team.

"We executed the game plan," Rathe said. "Unfortunately, we didn't make any shots. I told the guys we needed to continue that effort an just make some shots."

Prospect took that message and pushed the Mustangs hard.

The Knights forced 7 third-quarter turnovers by Meadows. And with Georgakas (18 points) and Ben Schneider leading the offense, Prospect pulled ahead 29-27 after three quarters.

The teams traded leads from there with Scheineder (11 points) tying the game at 36-36 with 1:57 left. Christie hit a free throw to put Meadows up for good just five second later.

Meadows and Ogbonna were able to convert free throws to stay on top, but Prospect was able to stay close by converting on their end of the court.

Meadows led 45-40 with 15.6 seconds left on free throws by Christie.

Georgakas then drilled a three with 8.3 seconds left.

The Knights forced a turnover on the inbounds play. But Georgakas's shot came up with iron to end the game.

"I told Alex I never have seen him play that hard," Rathe said. He just played so hard. Just getting that shot to the rim was just about everything he had left in the tank. I have ever seen him that tired."

  Rolling Meadows' Foster Ogbonna drives to the basket during Thursday's boys basketball game against Prospect in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com
  Prospect's Drew Terpins, bottom, hits the floor chasing a rebound with Rolling Meadows' Foster Ogbonna during Thursday's boys basketball game in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com
  Rolling Meadows' Mark Nikolich-Wilson (30) passes over Prospect's Cole Chapman during Thursday's boys basketball game in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com
  Rolling Meadows' Ian Miletic (10) tries to block the shot of Prospect's Alex Georgakas during Thursday's boys basketball game in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com
  Prospect's Nolan Murray (5) looks to take a shot between Rolling Meadows' Tsvet Sotirov (35) and Mark Nikolich-Wilson during Thursday's boys basketball game in Mount Prospect. Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com