Rolling Meadows has seen as many ups and downs this season as the stock market has in recent months. Friday at Buffalo Grove, the Mustangs experienced one of those ups that might just give them a boost for the approaching postseason.
Meadows, held to just 16 first-half points, came from behind with a 41-point second half to defeat the host Bison 57-52 in a Mid-Suburban East boys basketball game, snapping the Bison's 6-game winning streak.
Matt Dolan, who scored 21 points in the first meeting between these teams, scored 23 of his game-high 27 points in the second half, and Austin Reed contributed 12 of his 14 points after halftime, including a huge 3 pointer and 6 of 6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, when the Mustangs (6-15, 4-5) held off the Bison down the stretch.
"We were stagnant in the first half," Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "In the second half, we had more movement, which allowed (Matt) to get to the basket. It was a total team effort."
The Mustangs were able to put behind them a stretch late in the third quarter when play got a little chippy and the teams were each assessed 2 technical fouls.
"Early in the year, we'd lose this game," Katovich said. "We didn't lose our composure. We won in a hostile environment against a well-coached team."
"We didn't get the ball to where we wanted and struggled offensively," BG coach Ryan O'Connor said. "That gave them confidence in the first half. In the games we won, we played teams comparable to us, but we executed. We didn't necessarily tonight. When you play teams with comparable kids, you'd better play together."
Dolan came out in the third quarter and took over the game. He made 5 of 6 shots, including both of his 3-pointers, bringing the Mustangs from down 20-16 to up 36-33 after three quarters.
"I looked to attack more," Dolan said. "The shots started falling. Once we started moving well, we started to pull away."
Consecutive 3 pointers by Reed and Dolan gave Meadows its largest lead of the game 43-37 with 5:23 left. The Mustangs never trailed, although BG's Andrew Apel did his best to change that by scoring 9 of his team-best 19 points in the final quarter.
Meadows got into the double bonus, and Reed answered with a perfect 6-for-6 in the final 2:30.
"I'm confident that I can knock down the free throws down the stretch," Reed said. "We're playing our best ball right now, and we're looking to knock off some teams (in the tournament)."
Buffalo Grove (13-11, 5-4) had three players score in double figures, with Luke Potnick (14) and Scott Smithern (10) following Apel's lead.