You might not see a better defensive effort in the Mid-Suburban League this season.
Rolling Meadows' boys basketball team clamped down so hard on Buffalo Grove on Friday night that the Bison might still be looking for their shooting touch after the visiting Mustangs scored a 44-26 MSL East victory heading into holiday tournament time.
Buffalo Grove hit just 9 of 42 field goal attempts, never scored more than 8 points in any quarter and never had the lead after Meadows went on an 8-0 run for a 12-6 advantage, keyed by Matt Dolan's buckets inside and Charlie Metzger's 3-point play in relief of Dolan, who got into foul trouble.
Dolan returned in the second half and put up 12 of his 17 points and grabbed 6 more rebounds.
"He was a monster on the boards," said Meadows coach Kevin Katovich, who was actually more pleased about his team's play at the other end. "Our guys really did a nice job defensively. They really bought into what we wanted to do."
And that was not give BG's 3-point sharpshooters, especially Andrew Apel, any clean looks. The Mustangs (3-6, 2-1) regularly ran double teams at Apel and made him give up the ball or take a tough shot. He finished with 9 points but had to take 16 shots to get them. BG (3-6, 0-3) had 16 turnovers and got outrebounded after handling a much taller Barrington team just three nights earlier.
It was that way all night, and it was the difference in the game.
"I thought it started off with their defense," said Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson. "They ran bodies at (Apel)."
And everyone else.
"Our main focus was shutting down Apel," said Dolan, who credited guys like Metzger and Emmanuel Lopez off the bench for their hustle, defense and willingness and to take charges.
"We got big contributions off the bench. Energy guys. He always gets charges," Dolan said of Lopez.
Everyone contributed to the defensive effort and kept BG off the offensive glass too. The game might have reflected just how tough a schedule Meadows has played so far. The Mustangs' foes are a cumulative 35-11 this season.
"We've played good teams," said Katovich, whose club opens with Conant at the York tournament next Thursday.
BG is looking to regain its confidence and its shooting touch by 9 a.m. Monday, when it plays Chicago-Harlan in the Elgin tournament.