Rolling Meadows shuts down Buffalo Grove
Rolling Meadows took a 17-point lead in the first quarter Thursday night at Buffalo Grove, and wound up earning a 75-53 boys basketball victory on the Bison's home court in Mid-Suburban East action.
Still, despite the final score, the win didn't come easy for the Mustangs - not by a long shot.
BG was hitting its long shots - 3-pointers, that is - with regularity against Meadows, and when Bison sophomore Connor Woodin nailed 2 consecutive 3s midway through the fourth quarter, the home team had cut the deficit to just 12.
Then Meadows righted the ship and pulled away to earn the triumph, and although BG played extremely hard the entire contest, it couldn't claw all the way back.
"We took the big lead, then let up a little with our intensity," said Mustangs coach Kevin Katovich. "But we found a way to regroup and get it back, and that's all part of the process."
Meadows came out on fire in the opening period, and when 6-foot-7 junior center Mark Nikolich-Wilson canned a shot in the paint, then senior guard Orlando Thomas got a steal and a layup, the Mustangs led 22-5.
Meadows kept it rolling in the second quarter as guard Cameron Christie led the way, scoring 10 first-half points.
"I really liked our energy tonight, especially early," said Katovich. "Orlando gave us a really good burst of energy all game, and so did Cameron. When those two guys are humming like they were tonight, we're pretty tough to beat."
BG senior Adidas Davis had 5 3s and a team-high 19 points, and his hot shooting and overall floor play kept Meadows (22-2, 7-0) from further extending the lead in the third quarter.
Then in the fourth period, BG got confidence with a couple early buckets. Aidan Romanski got a couple of steals, Woodin hit his 3s, and all of the sudden it was 60-48 with 4 minutes still left to go.
But Christie had 6 of his game-high 21 points in the final minutes, Thomas hit some clutch free throws, and the Mustangs rode to the win.
Thomas finished with 18 points for RM, Nikolich-Wilson had 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Foster Obgonna had 10 points.
Six-7 junior Tsvet Sotirov added 4 points and 2 blocks off the bench for Meadows.
"Our size, early on, we were able to take advantage of that," said Katovich, who takes his team to Loyola Academy Saturday afternoon to face New Trier, which beat Glenbrook South Thursday night.
"We're still working on some things and we need to get better at some things, but obviously I'm happy with the result. We just have a lot of firepower. We're really lucky to have great kids that are skilled at basketball. They play really well together, and they play hard. It's just a credit to them."