Nikolich-Wilson's double-double leads Rolling Meadows over Hersey

Mark Nikolich-Wilson came alive Friday in Arlington Heights.

The 6-foot-7, 275-pound senior ruled the inside. Nikolich-Wilson scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds to help Rolling Meadows cruise past Hersey 66-36.

Nikolich-Wilson showed he was going to a force under the glass on both ends of the court from the opening basket. That's when he converted one of his four offensive rebounds and put it back for the game's first score.

"It is a lot of fun especially when you can a play like that and continue a play," Nikolich-Wilson said. "It's fun basketball, especially when I go at somebody instead of playing against a bunch of little guys."

Nikolich-Wilson thought this was his best game of the season.

"Definitely in terms of a full game," Nikolich-Wilson said. "I think I executed well on both ends. I think I rebounded well and I passed well."

Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich agreed with his big guy.

"I though Mark stepped up his game," Katovich said. "Mark is so unselfish. He leads the team in assists. But tonight he picked up his offensive game and he played great."

And Nikolich-Wilson's play came at right time for Rolling Meadows (9-0, 2-0).

Senior forward Tsvet Sotirov twisted his ankle late in the first quarter. He left the game and tried to return in second quarter, but sat back down after about a minute.

"He's OK," said Katovich, whose team plays New Trier Saturday at the South Elgin shootout.

"He tried, so I said let's not push it. If he can't play tomorrow, he can't play. I thought Jack Duffer and Jake Repak off the bench were phenomenal. They have been giving us huge minutes all year. And tonight, when they were pressed into action, they didn't miss a beat."

Neither did Cameron Christie. The University of Minnesota commit scored a game-high 24 points, while sitting out the final six minutes of the game when the Mustangs triggered the 30-point rule.

"We wanted to come in here a prove a point with another win in the conference," said Christie, who knocked down a quarter of three-pointers.

"We think a have a very good team. We made it to the MSL championship game last year and lost. We would like to give ourselves a chance to get back there again this year,"

Rolling Meadows made sure that they were control early on by scoring the game's first eight points.

Hersey (5-4,1-1) cut the lead to 12-6 midway through the quarter. But the Mustangs close out the period on a 13-0 run and they were on their way with a 25-6 lead.

Max Menninga led Hersey with 12 points while Jackson Hupp and Quinn Mullen each had seven points.

"Twenty-five point quarters weren't in our blueprint tonight," Hersey coach Austin Scott said. "Offensive rebounds hurt us and second chance points and transition points. All the things they are good at. The good thing is that there is no time to sit and lick our wounds. We have St. Viator tomorrow (Saturday) and that is an emotional game."

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