Rolling Meadows boys basketball coach Kevin Katovich loves the way Jonny Ungurean churns out results for the Mustangs. He also wants Ungurean to shoot the ball more.
Ungurean did both Tuesday to help the host Mustangs cruise past Grayslake North 47-32.
"I grind it out during the games," said Ungurean, who had 12 points and 9 rebounds. "Especially rebounding. But coach came to me and said I should shoot more, so I did tonight."
Ungurean, who had been in a scoring slump the last few games, took his coach's words to heart. The senior scored 6 points in the first quarter as the Mustangs bolted to a 14-6 advantage.
"I thought Jonny was the key tonight," Katovich said. "He just keeps grinding and grinding out there all year. Offensively he played real well and defensively and rebounding he was big for us."
Rolling Meadows, which has won 6 of its last 7 games to even its mark at 11-11, continued the staunch defense in the second quarter. Keeping Grayslake North (7-14) away from the basket, the Mustangs again limited the Knights to just 6 points in the period to lead 24-12 at the break.
"They are very active in their zone," Grayslake North Todd Grunloh said. "They have some length. They extended it out to a second level in ways that we haven't seen."
Rolling Meadows opened up a 27-14 lead before Graylake North was able finally able to solve the Mustangs' defense.
Sparked by Lucas Buckels (9 points) the Knights scored 9 unanswered points, with Buckels accounting for 7 of those points. It was Buckels' 2 free throws with 2:37 left in the third quarter that cut the lead to 27-23.
Rolling Meadows, which has found balance in its offense since Christmas, got scoring from four different players. Thanks to 3-pointers by Jack Schoessling (8 points) and two treys by Pat Kramp (8 points), the Mustangs outscored the Knights 16-5 to blow the game open 43-28 with 3:50 to play.
"We are definitely opening it up on offense," said the Mustangs' Matt Dolan, who had 11 points and 7 rebounds. "We struggled at the beginning of the season with that. But more people are getting involved and we have way more people scoring now than we did earlier."
Katovich also likes the way his team has picked up its offense.
"We are really playing well right now," Katovich said. "We are getting great contributions from everyone. Literally everyone who went on the court today contributed. We got our young guys and seniors mixing well out there. And that is good for us."
Dom Diprova led Grayslake North, which shot 33 percent (12-of-36) with 10 points.
"The first quarter we forced some shots," Grunloh said. "The second quarter we got some good looks, but didn't make many shots. But the third quarter we got the same looks and hit those shots. We just didn't consistently make many shots."