Rolling Meadows' steadily superior performance led to a 64-44 victory over host Hersey on Friday in Mid-Suburban East boys basketball.
The Mustangs were able to ouscore the Huskies in each quarter, partly due to sheer effort. From the outset, Rolling Meadows seemed to have an edge with intensity.
"I think a lot of the tone was set early with our hustle plays," Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich said. "I thought Charlie Metzger made a couple of nice plays early, and Jonny Ungurean. We did real well on the boards, and the guys executed the game plan to a 'T.' I couldn't be happier. It is just a great group to coach."
In addition to the hustle of Metzger (9 points), and Ungurean (4 points), the Mustangs received some hot shooting from senior guard Pat Kramp, who scored a game-high 22 points to go along with 5 rebounds.
Kramp scored 18 of his points in the first half.
"My teammates were finding me," Kramp said. "I had good looks and they were going down. That's all I could ask for."
The last time Meadows and Hersey squared off, it came down to the final second, with Hersey pulling out a win when a shot by Kramp hit the back of the rim and bounced out. Kramp and Metzger admitted that close loss was on their minds entering Friday night's contest.
"We weren't really talking about it out loud, but I think we all had it in the back of our minds," Kramp said of the close loss in January. "Knowing it was such a heartbreaker. Hersey is a great team. They came out tonight and nothing went their way."
Senior forward Matt Dolan scored 8 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 5 assists for Rolling Meadows (10-11, 4-4). Jack Schoessling scored 7 points for the Mustangs.
"I think we just came out from the beginning, and everyone that got in the game contributed," Metzger said. "I think is a big part -- everyone going out there and not trying to do too much, but not be afraid either."
Hersey (8-12, 4-4) was led offensively by junior guard Payton Haas, who knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 14 points. Brandon Hatten chipped in 8 points, and Alex Mueller and Max Heeren each scored 6.
"I would say it was mainly because of extra hustle on their (Rolling Meadows') part," Hersey coach Steve Messer said. "I know they hit shots, but loose balls went to them. And our screen defense was non-existent."