Rolling Meadows gets back on track vs. Hersey

A dense fog greeted area residents Thursday morning making for a tedious and treacherous commute for all.

The Rolling Meadows boys basketball team found themselves in the same situation as they made their commute to Hersey High School for a critical Mid-Suburban East match. Meadows sought to get themselves out of a fog in the form of a two-game losing streak in a pair of nonconference games over the past week.

The Mustangs also sought to keep their share of first place in the MSL East with Prospect.

Fortunately for Meadows their ability to gain an early upper hand plus being able withstand a pair of surges from the home team allowed them to leave Ken Carter Gym with a 73-52 victory.

It keeps Meadows (16-7, 6-1) tied atop the East with Prospect (17-6, 6-1) who posted a 62-28 home triumph over Wheeling (8-16, 2-5) on Tuesday night.

"We wanted to schedule a really hard nonconference (slate)," Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich said in reference to their recent defeats to to Lake Forest and Glenbrook South. "We lost (both games) but we learned a lot of lessons. The last few days at practice and in games we just tried getting back to fundamentals. All the credit to our kids. Hersey is a really good team and our kids kept battling and executing which is nice to see."

Katovich liked what he saw in the opening eight minutes. The Mustangs used a 19-2 run over the final 4:55 to take a 21-8 advantage into the second behind 9 of 6-7 junior Ian Miletic's game-high 25 points.

However, Hersey wouldn't go away as it used a 12-2 surge of its own to rally within 23-20 on an alley-oop feed from Jackson Hupp to junior teammate Joey Brown.

After trading hoops, Rolling Meadows regained control and pushed the lead back to 33-25 at intermission. They extended to 42-31 on a successful Jack Duffer drive in the paint with 3:48 left in the third before the Huskies (12-12, 3-4) went on their second charge.

Hersey’s 7-0 tear featured a pair of Charlie Powis treys and a Hupp charity toss that got them within 42-38 at the 2:02 mark.

Meadows closed the period out with an 8-2 run that put their lead back at double-digits (50-40) entering the fourth.

A Miletic three in combination with another Duffer drive down the lane finally allowed the visitors to get past the hosts once and for all as Hersey would get no closer than 55-43 on Powis' third triple with 6:27 left.

Duffer and Lazar Lazarevic each added 13 points to the winning Meadows effort. Lazarevic also added a game-high 11 rebounds.

Brown led Hersey with 18 points followed by 11 from Powis.

"We've been looking forward to an opportunity to come back and get back in the win column and that's exactly what we did today," said Miletic, who added 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

"A loss is not really a loss to us. We take it and we learn from it."

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