A tough shot and a tough no-call in the final seconds led to a tough ending to the six-game winning streak for Rolling Meadows' boys basketball team on Saturday night in Skokie.
But the Mustangs believed they set themselves up for a 55-54 nonconference loss as Niles West snapped a five-game losing streak on Tony Pierce's acrobatic reverse baseline drive with 10 seconds to play.
"We didn't do the little things right," said Meadows junior guard Tyler Gaedele, who scored 12 points and hit four 3-pointers.
"We didn't deserve to win the game," Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said after Niles West rallied from a 39-29 deficit with 7:48 to play. "We did some things we didn't do during the winning streak.
"We had a size advantage and we didn't get the rebounds we needed to (27-23 Niles West edge). I think our guys decided the game was over."
Meadows (11-10) had a 35-24 lead when it committed the first of its two fouls on 3-point attempts by Niles West (11-11).
The Wolves had missed 10 of their first 11 tries behind the arc in the first three quarters. They went 6-for-8 in the fourth as Ramsan Younatham hit three in a row and Pierce (22 points) tied it at 51-51 with 1:20 left after a Meadows turnover.
A Donte Logan drive 20 seconds later put Niles West up 53-51.
"Coming into the game we knew the key was to stop their dribble penetration," Gaedele said. "We did a terrible job of that, including me."
Paul Volkman (16 points) missed a tying chance in close but kept the rebound alive out to Mike Olson, who found Gaedele in the right corner for the go-ahead 3 with 37 seconds left.
But Niles West ran down the clock and Pierce drove through baseline traffic and tossed in the game-winner high off the glass.
"The guy hit an incredible shot but it shouldn't have come down to that," Gaedele said.
Nor should it have come down to Meadows believing there should have been a foul called when point guard Brian Nelms had the ball stripped at the top of the key two seconds before time expired.
"It was a much-needed win," said Niles West coach Bob Williams, whose team had a tough loss to Evanston on Friday. "Our kids really battled. They've been close, been close, been close and it was nice to see the breaks kind of go the other way."
Buffalo Grove 79, Zion-Benton 73 (to): Nick Prus scored a career-high 35 points and hit five 3s as host Buffalo Grove (15-8) recovered after Zion-Benton (17-7) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation and scored first in overtime.
"Our kids turned the screws on defensively and finished the game very, very well," said BG coach Ryan O'Connor. "It was a good character-builder after giving up so many points."
Prus also went 10-for-12 at the free-throw line. Dan Recht (15 points), Sam Wacker (13 points) and Jeff Zabrin (10 points) helped the Bison to their fourth win in five games.
Maine West 65, Elk Grove 55: Maine West (13-8) didn't want to suffer from an energy crisis after a Friday night loss to Central Suburban North co-leader Niles North.
Junior Conor Hart scored 15 of his 20 points before halfine and Odera Eneogwe had 14 of his 20 points after the break for the Warriors. Kevin Garcia added 9 points and 6-9 junior Cody Zimmerman provided a big boost off the bench with 6 points as they led 33-24 at halftime.
"I thought we battled hard and I was a little worried about tonight's energy," said Maine West coach Erik McNeill.
"Before this on a Saturday we've never played with this much energy," Hart said. "That was an accomplishment in itself to have that energy.
"Emmett (point guard Turner-Jackson) and I were talking before the game that we have to stay focused, we have to be ready and come out strong."
Austin Amann scored 22 points and was 4-for-5 on 3s and Justin Flores had 14 points and was 3-for-6 on 3s for the Grenadiers (5-18).
Hersey 53, Lake Zurich 49: Junior Justin Jobski scored all 10 of his points in a season-high 27-point fourth quarter as the host Huskies improved to 13-8.
Junior Sean Reszotko led Hersey with 11 points while senior Tom Sutrinaitis added 10 at the Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.
The Huskies led 8-4 after one quarter and never looked back.
"Our defense kept us in it," said Hersey coach Steve Messer. "We spread out the floor at the end and they had to come out on us. We tried to attack and Justin made some cuts to the basket for his points in that last quarter."
Mirko Grcic led the Bears with 14 points while Drake Orser chipped in 8.
Hoffman 62, Maine East 43: Matt Pahl scored a career-high 17 points and hit two 3-pointers and Austin Terry scored 17 points as host Hoffman Estates (5-16) snapped a five-game losing streak.
Alex Bonds (12 points) and Eric Saubert (8 points) helped the Hawks to a season-high point total. Mark Roberts had 7 rebounds as they led 22-11 after a quarter and 36-15 at halftime.
Fremd 63, Dundee-Crown 60: Zach Monaghan scored 25 points as Fremd (15-7) pulled out the nonconference road win. Jim Scharfe added 10 points and Garrett Peters had 9 points.
Marian Catholic 46, St. Viator 31: An 11-0 second quarter run propelled Marian (10-14, 5-5) to the East Suburban Catholic Conference win over St. Viator (12-8, 4-5) in Chicago Heights. Dan Forde and Chris Myjak scored 7 points apiece for the Lions.
Deerfield 57, Conant 50: Conant fell to 14-7 overall with the nonconference loss.
After enduring a nine-day delay due to the blizzard of 2011 and an additional one hour and 15 minute delay to the conclusion of the Harper Wrestling Open, Harper (17-7) used a 12-2 run midway through the first half and never looked back in an 80-50 victory over visiting Truman College on Saturday afternoon at the Wellness and Sports Center.
A pair of layups by Shonnon Barfield sandwiched around the first of six Garret Gatz (Conant) 3-pointers put Harper in front 14-7 with 15:23 left in the first half.
After a basket by Jordan Metzger closed the gap to 24-19, Kemill Long (Hoffman Estates) converted a layup and Wes Wilcox (Lake Park) hit a 3-pointer to give Harper its first double-digit lead at 19-9 with 12:46 left in the first half.
Truman (2-14) trailed 32-23 with 4:30 to go in the half, getting as close as six before a 12-3 spurt by the home team. Sophomore Perish Bell's (Schaumburg) only points of the game came on a 10-foot buzzer-beater to give Harper a 44-26 halftime edge.
Harper started the second half on 16-2 run behind 8 points from Gatz that extended the lead to 60-28 at the 15:16 mark.
Gatz led all scorers with 22 points followed by teammates Barfield (18), Long (14), and Wilcox (11).
Both Harper hoop squads will be at home today to face Wright College of Chicago as makeup games from Thursday's postponements.
The women tipoff 1 p.m. followed by the men at 3 p.m.